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Bauer, Joan
New York : Putnam, 1998.
ISBN 0399231404

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Jenna now has her driver's license and is ready to hit the road. She can't believe her luck when her boss at the shoe store asks Jenna to drive her from Chicago to Texas. Mrs. Gladstone has a little job for Jenna to do along the way. Jenna is enlisted as a corporate spy. She is asked to spy on other shoe stores. Come get some shopping tips along the way as Jenna learns THE RULES OF THE ROAD.

Booktalk #2

How many of you have your drivers license? What does driving mean to you? Have any of you ever made a long road trip?  As a passenger?  As the driver?

Jenna Boller is 5' 11" tall, and has red hair and brown eyes.  She works in a shoe store, you know, a retail selling job.  But she's so good at it that the owner of Gladstone Shoes, Madeline Gladstone, hangs out in her store.  When Madeline decides to go on a road trip to visit all the stores in the chain, she hires Jenna as her driver and undercover shoe agent. Mrs. Gladstone wants to find out just what is happening in her stores before she turns the business over to her son Elden.  Jenna cant wait--two months on the road in a big white Cadillac, driving from Chicago to Dallas.  Jenna thinks she knows the Rules of the Road, but there may be more out there than she bargained for.  (Kathy Bullene, North Mason Timberland Library,

Booktalk #3

Just recently, our daughter, Stacy, who is a junior in High School next fall got her driver's permit and started to drive. Let me tell you this has been a very interesting experience. For example, when we drove down to Arkansas over the fourth of July weekend, my wife, Mary, let Stacy drive most of the trip with only one month of driving experience. At first, I thought it was a huge mistake. Why? Because I am talking about highway driving! I am talking about 75 miles per hour driving!! I was very, very nervous. My wife had one hand on the steering wheel and I was praying. (FOLD HANDS).     So, here is Stacy changing lanes on the highway to pass a car which means she was moving from the right to the left lane. She has her hands on the steering wheel and turns it a little to sharp to the left and I am holding on for my life. (HOLD ON TO CHAIR). I felt like I was on a roller coaster. Then Stacy steps on the gas and passes the car and she moves back into the right lane and she turns the car too sharp again this time to the right and I grab a hold of the seat again because I think my life is about to end. (GRAB A HOLD OF A CHAIR AGAIN).  You know how the highway has a broken white line in the middle and the solid white line on the right side? Well, Stacy throughout the trip was constantly going over the solid white line on the right side of the freeway. Another thing that happened is that at one point in our trip Stacy almost hit the side of a bridge. All of this took place with Mary's hand on the wheel. I can't imagine what would have happened if Mary wasn't holding the steering wheel.      In the book Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer, Jena has a job selling shoes at a local shoe store. She is so good at it that she catches the eye of Madeline Gladstone, the corporate owner of Gladstone Shoes. Jena has only had her license for six months and Madeline wants her to drive her to the annual stockholder's meeting in Texas where she will hand the leadership of the company over to her son, Elden. They will make stops in Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana, and then Dallas, Texas so Jena can spy out some of the Gladstone Shoe Stores along the way. The trip will take the entire summer.  Here are the keys. How many of you would take them after six months of driving experience? (PAUSE) Raise your hands. How many of your parents would let you drive on this trip? (PAUSE). Raise your hands. Oh, I forgot to tell you what you would be driving. (SHOW A PICTURE OF A CADILLAC). A cadillac!!! This is not a junker. This is a magnificent driving machine. You get in an accident in this car and you are in big, big trouble.  When she takes off on this trip, Jena leaves behind an alcoholic father who is always coming home drunk and he is the single, biggest problem in her life. She has had it up to here with him. After Jena drives through some major cities she finds out that Madeline Gladstone is not really handing over the company to her son, but he is really involved in a corporate takeover and there is nothing that Madeline or Jena can do about it. Or, (PAUSE) is there? (Paul Christopherson, Young Adult Librarian, Millard Branch Library

SUBJECTS:     Stores, Retail -- Fiction
                        Old age -- Fiction
                        Automobile driving -- Fiction
                        Alcoholsim -- Fiction
                        Texas -- Fiction


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