Degrees of Barley Lick, The (ebook)

Number of pages:
Publication date:
October 2021
For readers:
12 and up
Young Adult Fiction:
Action & Adventure
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The Degrees of Barley Lick

by Susan Flanagan

Barley had to get rid of this arsehole. “Sorry, Mr.?”
“Newton. Fred Newton. I met you the other night.”
Oh my God, it’s the mutant molester. Ugh. Barley stuck out his tongue and clicked off his phone. His mother was going to kill him. But he didn’t care. The thought of having anything to do with that man turned his stomach. How dare he say that whatever he was doing was more important than GeoFind. This contest meant everything to Barley, and he was going to win it for his father.


Life has been hard for sixteen-year-old Barley Lick: he split with his girlfriend, his father died, and now his mother has a new boyfriend, a cop named Fred Newton. Not even Barley’s new Great Dane, Stanley, can make things right.

Then Newton wants Barley to use his geocaching skills to help solve a mystery, and that would mean losing a huge geocaching competition to his ex-girlfriend and arch-enemy Phyllis. But Barley soon realizes that a young boy’s life may be in danger, and time to rescue him is running out.

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Also available in print.

 What folks are saying about the print edition

  • Winner, Next Generation Indie Books Awards 2022 (Second Book)

  • ACP Top Grade selection (Winter 2022)

  • Included in the Best Books for Kids and Teens (Spring 2022)

"Grief, geocaching, broken hearts, kidnapping and a Great Dane all combine to make The Degrees of Barley Lick a dizzying helicopter ride through a few extraordinary days in a teenager’s life. Racing against time through the breathtaking scenery of British Columbia from one geocache to the next, Barley Lick is distracted by his numbing grief for his dead father, his hostility to his mother’s new boyfriend, and his fury with his ex-girlfriend, with whom he is forced to work to solve the geocaching clues that will lead them to a kidnapped boy. Flanagan has perfectly captured the inner life of a teenage boy in emotional turmoil, bursting with hormones, resentments and bad decisions. Barley acts first and thinks later. This is an adventure book with a very human hero at its heart, who is navigating an inner landscape that is even more challenging than the wilderness where the geocaches lie hidden." ~ Charis Cotter, award-wining author of The Ghost Road, The Swallow, and Screech!

"This novel is five-star in every respect: a rollicking plot, totally entertaining and believable characters, themes of acceptance and healing, humor, romance, lively dialogue, even an environmental component. What more could you possibly want in a story that veers from teens obsessed with a competition that resembles a treasure hunt, to the opportunity – and urgent need – to stop a kidnapper from harming a child? This novel is difficult to put down, and if you don’t know what geocaching is at the start, you’ll be totally caught up in its attraction by the end. The protagonist, Barley, is a superstar at the sport, matched only by his ex-girlfriend and nemesis, Phyllis. The writing never falters; it has original expressions and fun, snappy dialogue." ~

“A vivid, visual adventure that will make you want to start geocaching!” ~ Eric Walters, author of over 100 books

"The plot is entirely believable, and the characters’ changes are both credible and heart-warming. The story’s pacing is masterful, and The Degrees of Barley Lick will appeal to both boys and girls. Highly Recommended" ~ CM: Canadian Review of Materials (read the full review