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Young Adult Fiction General

Trouble in the Hills

by (author) Helaine Becker

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
Nov 2011
General, Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse
Recommended Age
12 to 18
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2011
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2011
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Set in the Rocky Mountain borderlands, Trouble in the Hills is an action-packed adventure that pits an injured teen against the elements as he tries to elude kidnappers and drug runners.

After a fight with his father, Cam takes to the hills that surround his small, mountain community where an error in judgment leads to a serious mountain biking accident. As he slowly makes his way back to town over cold, inhospitable terrain, he encounters a trio of kidnappers, the girl who escaped them, his former best friend, and a gang of drug runners.

About the author


Helaine Becker
est l'auteure de nombreux livres jeunesse primés. Elle a écrit plus de 80
livres, dont Raconte-moi les graphiques : L'histoire de William Playfair et
l'album illustré à succès Un porc-épic dans un sapin. Helaine
habite à Toronto, en Ontario.


HELAINE BECKER is the author of numerous of books of fiction and non-fiction for children, among them the best-selling A Porcupine in a Pine Tree and its sequel, Dashing Through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells, The Haunted House That Jack Built and Little Jack Horner, Live from the Corner. Her books have won the Silver Birch Award and the CBA Libris Award and have been shortlisted for the Red Cedar, the Hackmatack and the Rocky Mountain awards. Helaine lives in Toronto with her family. Visit her at

Helaine Becker's profile page

Librarian Reviews

Trouble in the Hills

After a fight with his father, Cam hops on his bike and heads for the hills surrounding his small mountain community. But when a wipe-out wrecks his bike and his ankle, Cam is forced to build a fire and a shelter and camp for the night before attempting the long walk down. No sooner has he fallen asleep than he’s startled awake by voices. Instinct tells him the voices are far from friendly, and suddenly he finds himself in all sorts of trouble — the kind of trouble that could get him killed!

Fifteen-year-old Cam is a typical teenage boy. A bit of a rebel, he resents the responsibilities that sit on his shoulders while his dad is away at work. An adventurer by nature, all he really wants is to be free to ride his mountain bike and do tricks. He’s also impulsive and has a tendency to act rashly and without thinking. It’s one such impulsive act that strands him up in the mountains, and sets the stage for the rest of the story.

It turns out Cam isn’t the only person in the mountains who’s in trouble. Circumstances lead him to Samira, an illegal immigrant on the run from human smugglers, and Dakota, a former friend who has been running drugs up the mountain for cash and now finds himself in trouble with his employers.

Filled with non-stop action, the story moves at breakneck speed as Cam faces numerous perilous situations. There is a nominal amount of swearing, but it’s true to the characters and is in context.

Short chapters, perfect pacing and lots of action make Helaine Becker’s debut YA novel a perfect choice for reluctant boy readers, and once they pick it up, they’ll find it impossible to put down until the end.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2012. Volume 35 No. 2.

Trouble in the Hills

After having a fight with his father, Cam escapes on his bike to the hills surrounding his small mountain community. But when a wipe-out wrecks his bike and his ankle, he must make his way back home but finds himself in a whole new heap of trouble. Cam must elude human traffickers and drug runners and deal with a mysterious girl and his always unpredictable former best friend.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

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