Duff Pringle has bought his first car. (Used.) He's got six days to drive 3,000 miles cross-country to California and start a new hi-tech job that will make him wealthy. (Sort of.) Nothing can stop him. (Or can it?)
Uh-oh . . . CAR TROUBLE.
Duff's Ford Escort barely makes it a hundred miles from home before breaking down. What's he supposed to do? He's promised his new boss he'll be there by Monday. But he's also promised himself that he'll make this journey by car, so he can really see the country. Using his laptop and some quick thinking, he pieces together a way to continue his trip. What he doesn't plan on are the people he meets along the road. There's Stu, a hitchhiker with a secret; Bonnie, an aspiring singer with a con artist for a mother; two thugs looking for a trunkful of cash; and Moony, the terrier prone to carsickness.
From Jeanne DuPrau, the New York Times best-selling author of The City of Ember, comes an exciting road trip with more than a few pit stops.
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Jeanne DuPrau is the author of The New York Timesbestseller The City of Ember and its companion The People of Sparks. She lives in Menlo Park, California, and drives a hybrid car that runs on a combination of gas and electricity.From School Library Journal:
Grade 8 Up–Computer whiz Duff Pringle, 17, has a used car and six days to get from Virginia to California where a job awaits him creating computer games. When he breaks down shortly after he sets out, he finds someone who has a car that needs to be driven to St. Louis. He picks up Stu, a seemingly harmless drifter, who turns out to be a blessing and a curse. During the ride, Duff explains that he doesn't have time for girls, but in reality he simply doesn't know how to talk to them. In St. Louis, Duff meets Bonnie, the teenage daughter of the vehicle's owner, a con artist hospitalized in Virginia. She decides to travel with the guys to California where she can stay with an aunt. Slowly Duff begins to break out of his shell and to have a relationship with her. His transition does not occur with the push of a button; instead it takes place over real-time, and even though there's no job when he reaches California, readers know that his life is on the right track. Ending with hope, Car Trouble is a good read that is kept moving by strong characters who steer the flow of the story.–Tracy Karbel, Glenside Public Library District, Glendale Heights, IL
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