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Q: Looking for the name of a young adult book printed around 1989 ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Looking for the name of a young adult book printed around 1989
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: misterbrach-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 30 Nov 2005 20:28 PST
Expires: 30 Dec 2005 20:28 PST
Question ID: 599831
I'm trying to find the name of a series of books that I read in about
1989-1990.  I bought the first in the series at a Pathmark...

The series - as best I can remember, about 6 or 7 books - was geared
towards young adults, specifically young teenage boys.  It recounted
the adventures of four boys living in the Mojave Desert and riding
motorcycles - here's what I remeber.

Apparently, there has been a nuclear war in the U.S. (I remember
"Nuclear Fishin'" [sic - fission] being mentioned by one of the
characters).  Orphaned boys are put into government-controlled camps. 
Four of these boys - and I remember two of their names, JJ and Bart
(or perhabs Bartt, or Ratt) - escape into the Mojave Desert on stolen
dirtbikes (the phrase "cc" ,for engine size in cubic centimeters, was
referenced CONSTANTLY) which they ride around.  I can't remember much
of the plot of any of the books in the series... they usually involved
some anonymous bad guy, or a kidnapping... I think partway through the
series, the gang meets up with an orphaned Native American kid and
becomes a gang of five.  I believe a third one of the characters may have
been called "Raider".  

My question is- what is the name of this series / the titles in this
series?  And as a secondary question, where can I go about finding
these books for purchase?  I really want to read them again!


Random plot points I can remember (only if they're helpful):
- At one point in one of the books, one kid is looking at a box of
sticks of dynamite.  He asks one of the other boys (who can read - he
can't) what "TNT" spells.  The other kid thinks that he just missed
hearing the letter "E" (there was a crash or something in the
background) and he responds, "It spells tent!  If you weren't such a
dummy (or something, I'm paraphrasing), you would know that!"

- At one point in one of the books, a kid is afraid he's going to get
kidnapped, so he covers himself in fire ants (which bite him like
crazy and make his skin swell up) so that other people will think he
has radiation sickness.  Smart kid!
Subject: Re: Looking for the name of a young adult book printed around 1989
Answered By: juggler-ga on 30 Nov 2005 21:38 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

You're thinking of the "Turbo Cowboys" series by Tony Phillips.

See this description of the first book in the series:

"A teenage "Mad Max" story in post-apocalyptic America...
...Batt, Raider, Tech and J.J. are 4 post apocalyptic survivors who
were born inside a Government Relocation Camp...
...A trader of sorts, he bargains with the kids: Raider, who learned
how to be a mechanic in the Relo camp will fix the unused motor dirt
bikes in the garage of the hotel and as payment the Cowboys each get a
motor bike."

Here are there are other books in the series, as listed on

search strategy:, "turbo cowboys"

I hope this helps.
misterbrach-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
WOW!!!!! Thank you so much.  Incredibly fast, TOTALLY RIGHT - this
question had me stumped for ages!!  You have to tell me how you did
that... I showed off google answers to everyone in the office today
and the general consensus is that you used some kind of black magic.

Whatever kind of Christmas bonus these guys are giving you, you deserve it.

Subject: Re: Looking for the name of a young adult book printed around 1989
From: pinkfreud-ga on 30 Nov 2005 21:43 PST
Great work, Juggler! This one had me stumped!
Subject: Re: Looking for the name of a young adult book printed around 1989
From: juggler-ga on 01 Dec 2005 11:31 PST
To Misterbrach: Thank you for the tip and kinds words.
To Pinkfreud: Thanks!

Alas, I have neither magical powers nor an impending Christmas bonus
(that I know of, anyway!). I knew the answer immediately, as I found
the same books for someone else last year. :-)
Subject: Re: Looking for the name of a young adult book printed around 1989
From: misterbrach-ga on 01 Dec 2005 12:25 PST
hahahah.  Touche!

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