Rules of the Road - by Joan Bauer
[Ask the audience what they think they need for a great summer. Wait for responses. Then continue:]
Some of these things are in this book. Jenna wishes she could have a summer with a driver's license money and a car. Jenna actually has her license. She turned 16, six months ago. She's also been saving money all year from her after-school job at a Gladstone Shoe Store. She can sell almost anything to anybody, especially shoes, so she's not doing badly in the money department. Jenna just doesn't quite have the car – yet! Her big plan is to save enough money to buy a little red car with a sun roof and bucket seats, and then explore all of Illinois and Wisconsin and who knows what else.
Then one day Jenna gets an unusual phone call. It's the president of the Gladstone Shoe Company. She wants Jenna to hire Jenna to be her driver for the summer and she's willing to pay very well. She's willing to hand over the keys to her enormous white Cadillac right away.
But Jenna's not too sure she's ready to take them. Sure, it will mean a chance to get away from her family (especially her drunk Dad) for the summer. It will mean freedom, the open road, a chance to explore, and lots and lots of money. But does Jenna really want to spend all summer with a little old lady instead of her best friend? Jenna's best friend warns her, “Jenna, don't be stupid! If you do this you'll be bored to death!”. On the other hand, there is all that money. Jenna will be getting paid enough to definitely buy that sweet car before she starts school in September. It's a tough decision…
Would you go?
Rochelle Brown, King County Library System
Last Updated: January 15, 2008