Monday, January 07, 2013

Middle Grade Monday-- Road Trip

Road TripPaulsen, Gary and Jim. Road Trip
8 January 2012, Wendy Lamb Books
ARC from

Ben's father has lost his job, and apparently his mind-- not only is he trying to fix up a house to flip, but he wants to go on a road trip to a shelter to pick up another border collie. Atticus, the family's dog, is excited about the trip but apprehensive about the puppy (some chapters are told from his point of view).When their truck breaks down, Ben and his father manage to find an old school bus to borrow, as long as they take along the mechanic, Gus. They also pick up Mia, a waitress who needs to make better choices, and Theo, who is supposed to be in jail and is being followed. Drag racing a cop is one of the highlights of the trip, which is fraught with amusing situations and errors in judgement.
Strengths: Short (128 pages), funny, and sure to please fans of the Liar, Liar series. Dog books continue to be big this year!
Weaknesses: Not nearly as funny as Paulsen's other recent works. Amusing, but nothing caused me to quote passages to my children or snort through my nose. Paulsen has set the bar very high recently, and this just didn't measure up.

Animals Welcome: A Life of Reading, Writing, and Rescue
Kehret, Peg. Animals Welcome: A Life of Reading, Writing and Rescue.
16 August 2012, Dutton

Ms. Kehret, the author of lots of delightful middle grade books, has a nonfiction memoir out. Given the surge in popularity of animal books, it might be one to consider, especially if your fan base for her works is strong. In this book, Kehret recounts various animals in her life, both wild and domesticated. She does a lot of good work, and runs a small cat sanctuary out of her home! She is much fonder of cats than I am. Wondering if fans of Hunter's Warrior series might like this book.

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts. Both sites have lots of links to reviews about books that are great for the 4th through 8th grader. It's also Nonfiction Monday, hosted this week at Hope is the Word.

If you need more memes, remember that there will be a World Wednesday Mr. Linky and a Guy Friday one later this week, so check back and join the party!


  1. Anonymous8:28 AM EST

    Good to hear about Peg Kehret's memoir, I just love her other book Small Steps, The Year I Got Polio. I actually began many readers on biographies with that title.

  2. Good to hear about Peg Kehret's memoir. I loved reading Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio- sold many students on biographies after they read that book!

  3. Thanks for these reviews! I hadn't heard of either of these, and I'm a Paulsen fan.

  4. My favorite Gary Paulson book is How Angel Peterson Got His Name. Lots of snortable passages in there. Or at least I think so. ;)

  5. I enjoyed Road Trip also. The memoir loos great!

  6. I would really like to read ROAD TRIP! Thanks for the tip about the Peg Kehret book. I'll have to check that one out, too.

  7. I haven't read a Paulsen book in a long, long time, but I'm glad to know he's still in the business. That Kehret book looks really interesting! Thanks for sharing this Nonfiction Monday!

  8. Anonymous10:23 AM EST

    Thanks for sharing these, will be getting both.