Cover image for Rules of the road
Title:
Rules of the road
Author:
Bauer, Joan, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Puffin Books, 2000.

©1998
Physical Description:
201 pages ; 18 cm
Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Jenna gets a job driving the elderly owner of a chain of successful shoe stores from Chicago to Texas to confront the son who is trying to force her to retire, and along the way Jenna hones her talents as a saleswoman and finds the strength to face her alcoholic father.
General Note:
Originally published: New York : Putnam's, c1998.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
850 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.0 6.0 25068.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.9 9 Quiz: 09886 Guided reading level: NR.
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780698118287
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Jenna Boller is the star employee at her branch of Gladstone's Shoes -she knows her stock and knows her stuff. But her family problems are harder to handle, and there are times when Jenna wishes she could just escape. So when Madeline Gladstone, the elderly president of the shoestore chain, hires Jenna as her driver for the summer, Jenna leaps at the chance-right into the driver's seat. And that begins a cross-country adventure from Chicago to Dallas, where she and Mrs. Gladstone learn a lot about the rules of the road...and the rules of life. Joan Bauer's perceptive, humorous novel is one no reader-teenager or adult-should miss. Winner of the 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner of the SCBWI Golden Kite Award An ALA Notable Book An ALA Best Book for Young Adults An ALA Quick Pick A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year An American Bookseller Pick of the Lists A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book


Author Notes

Joan Bauer is the author of numerous books for young readers including Soar; Rules of the Road, which received the L.A. Times Book Prize; Hope Was Here, which won a Newbery Honor Medal and the Christopher Award; and Close to Famous, which won the Christopher Award and the Schneider Family Book Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-10. It's downright wonderful these days to find a teenage protagonist who is smart, moral, funny, confident (mostly), and open-minded about grown-ups. Not that hulking Jenna Boller doesn't have her share of problems. A strapping five foot eleven with a strong work ethic, Jenna is an outsider at school. The fact that she spends most of her time selling shoes at Gladstone's shoe store (and loving it) doesn't help in terms of a social life. But it's her alcoholic father who is her main concern. When he suddenly comes back into her life, drunk as usual, she's not sure she can handle it. Lucky for her, rich, curmudgeonly Mrs. Gladstone, who is 73, needs someone to chauffeur her to Texas to a stockholders' meeting and help her check out the Gladstone stores along the way. It seems her son is engineering a company takeover that is breaking her heart. Like Squashed (1992), this has its introspective side as well as its share of sad moments that show the long-term damage alcoholism has on families and individuals. But it's also a warm, funny, insightful story about ordinary people who look beyond age to the things they have in common and the wisdom they can share. --Stephanie Zvirin


Publisher's Weekly Review

Bauer's novel about an earnest teenager who chauffeurs a crabby, wealthy woman has the underpinnings of a quirky Driving Miss Daisy, but the story quickly runs out of gas. Sixteen-year-old Jenna Boller has the world by the tail. She's just received her driver's license and she loves her job at Gladstone's Shoe Store. Even better, she's been tapped to drive Mrs. Madeline Gladstone, the imposing president of the shoe store chain, from Chicago to Dallas for an important shareholders meeting. During the road trip Jenna gets a chance to demonstrate her passion for shoe salesmanship at various Gladstone stores; she also learns of Elden Gladstone's plan to push his mother aside in favor of a major merger. While Jenna educates herself in the ways of big business and dealing with difficult people, she also ruminates about her alcoholic father, her ailing grandmother and her mom and sister waiting at home. She arrives back in Chicago both braver and wiser. As in Squashed, Bauer begins with an intriguing premise, weaves in unusual settings and scenarios and creates an offbeat first-person narrator to relay them. But a supporting cast of stock characters and forced dialogue may disappoint readers of her previous novels. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up‘Jenna Boller, 16, has had a lot of practice at being responsible. Her mother is a nurse who works the night shift, and her younger sister yearns for attention. Jenna's long-divorced, alcoholic father embarrassingly shows up whenever he gets an occasional urge to "make it up" to her. In addition, her wise and beloved grandmother is grappling with Alzheimer's disease. So the teen's mother reluctantly agrees to let her accept a summer job driving the elderly Madeline Gladstone, the crusty and demanding president of the shoe chain for which Jenna works, from Chicago to Texas. Jenna is surprised to learn that Mrs. Gladstone has problems, too: an aching hip as well as an aching heart. Her conniving son is maneuvering to take over the company and sell out for a huge short-term gain. Jenna comes to admire and love her boss and eagerly enters into an alliance of loyal employees to save the company. In making this valiant attempt, she finds herself truly transformed. Bauer's juxtapositions are inviting‘youth and age, wealth and work-a-day struggle, big-city loneliness and big-state caring, practicing alcoholism and big-hearted sobriety, stockroom wisdom and boardroom chicanery. The author creates some fabulous and sometimes flamboyant characters, witty dialogue, and memorable scenes, thus making readers really care about the intricacies of matching shoes to people and finding the right focus for Jenna as she strives to meet tall goals. Bauer's best yet.‘Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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