Read Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer Online


Meet Jenna Boller, star employee at Gladstone Shoe Store in Chicago. Standing a gawky 5'11" at 16 years old, Jenna is the kind of girl most likely to stand out in the crowd for all the wrong reasons. But that doesn't stop Madeline Gladstone, the president of Gladstone's Shoes 176 outlets in 37 states, from hiring Jenna to drive her cross country in a last ditch effort to sMeet Jenna Boller, star employee at Gladstone Shoe Store in Chicago. Standing a gawky 5'11" at 16 years old, Jenna is the kind of girl most likely to stand out in the crowd for all the wrong reasons. But that doesn't stop Madeline Gladstone, the president of Gladstone's Shoes 176 outlets in 37 states, from hiring Jenna to drive her cross country in a last ditch effort to stop Elden Gladstone from taking over his mother's company and turning a quality business into a shop-and-schlock empire. Now Jenna Boller shoe salesperson is about to become a shoe-store spy as she joins her crusty old employer for an eye-opening adventure that will teach them both the rules of the road and the rules of life....

Title : Rules of the Road
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780552550369
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Rules of the Road Reviews

  • Lisa
    2019-06-11 02:38

    Jenna Boller, a 16 year old high school student, has a part-time job at Gladstone's Shoes. When her father comes to the store drunk to make one of his sporadic visits to her, she is afraid that she will be fired. On the contrary, it is the beginning of a journey of self-discovery that she will make with her boss.This YA novel is told with compassion and good humor and is a great primer for teens struggling with issues of co-dependency and low self-esteem. Even as an adult, I found the book enjoyable with good life lessons along the way.

  • Noriko
    2019-06-08 10:33

    This is my second Joan Bauer. I haven’t read a lot of her books, but I got an impression she is an author who can write feel-good, impressive coming-of-age stories.The protagonist, Jenna Boller is the best employee at Gladstone’s Shoe Store. Merely a teenager, but she has an excellent insight into shoes and a flair for finding out what her customers need and can make them happy by finding a ‘perfect match’ for them.But just as other teenagers probably do, she has a lot of issues and is insecure. The traumatic experience with her alcoholic father and their parents’ divorce, in addition to her Grandma’s onset Alzheimer’s -which turned out to be the hardest hit for her - she was forced to grow up yet has always afraid to confront her issues, especially her father. She knows she can’t go on living her life the way she has, but she has let him walk all over her and started to want to escape the harsh reality by getting her own car and leaving town.A six-week road trip to Texas with Mrs. Gladstone - the 73-year-old president of Gladstone’s Shoe Store Jenna works for - comes at the perfect timing. Mrs. Gladstone confides in her with the issues the company is facing and asks (demands, more like) Jenna to drive her to Texas in a Cadillac to attend the Shareholder’s meeting which will decide the future of the company. Despite her mother’s reluctance, Jenna decides to tag along as a chauffeur and set out on a journey to Texas with temperamental, sprightly Mrs. Gladstone to save the company.The writing is solid and flows quite nicely. There’s nothing off and the pacing is on-point.I really enjoyed the banter and exchanges between Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone, and the descriptions of the road-trip are simply delightful to read through. I have never gone on a road trip, so this book made me feel as though I was tagging along after them and seeing what they see and experiencing what they go through in the book. It was quite a ride.I especially like how Joan Bauer illustrates the flair that Jenna possesses as a shoe seller. She is incredibly smart and competent, literally capable of catering to her customers’ needs and knows ins and outs of shoe-selling. She can tell good displays from bad displays and what reel customers into their store.The scene where Jenna snoops around (under the command of Mrs. Gladstone) their rival company, Shoe Warehouse, is oh, so exhilarating. Joan Bauer was brilliant at creating a hilarious scene that underscores Jenna’s competency by describing what crappy a job her opponent sales person does. And at the same time, by underscoring how Gladstone’s opponents are merely seeking for profits and neglecting what their customers truly need (like shoving toe-pinching shoes saying that “they just need break-in”), this book gives us a good life lesson on what ‘customer service’ really means and how we tend to let it take a backseat to bottom-line.Character growth is also a highlight of this book; Like I mentioned earlier, Jenna has bottled up her emotions and concerns over her drunken father and is also struggling with some other issues such as self-image, insecurity, and vulnerability. On the other hand, the indomitable, sprightly Mrs. Gladstone herself is dealing with her own insecurities and grief; her son is literally bound and determined to kick her out of the company, he is moving forward with Goldstone’s merger with Shoe Warehouse which sells second-class shoes for what they boast as ‘economical, reasonable prices.Through this journey to Texas, they go through some setbacks and resort to doing a lot of self-reflection, and eventually, they work up the courage to confront and defeat their own fears head-on.I loved reading how two people literally sitting on the other sides of the spectrum interact and influence each other and develop themselves.There are nothing particularly over-dramatic scenes, all those scenes are told in a very calm, quiet voice thus it didn’t strike me as much, but the message is really clear and I kind of like this calm, down-to-earth undertone running through the book. Not excessively dramatic, yet still a compelling, gripping read. I really enjoyed this book.Although I got a feeling that Joan Bauer tends to use ‘death’ as a means of character growth and as a way for their characters to look into their own minds and emotions, once again, the messages this book offers were highlighted and clearly heard through the death of the endearing key character, I think I can live with that.Not having any loose ends is also noteworthy; Joan Bauer tied everything so beautifully at the end of the book. It did feel a bit too neat and clean, but she didn’t leave any sub plots loose, she wrapped everything up nicely including Jenna’s defiance and confrontation with her father. She finally works up her courage to stand against her drunken father and says NO."Problems are not something that makes you weak and flawed; problems are something that makes you stronger, and different. Something that shows you how to defy the darkness."This is a story of growth and recognition of strength that’s been hidden beneath the surface. The story of an unforgettable summer that made her grow and mature through the interactions with people from all walk of life.This book is really clean and doesn’t even contain any romance element which makes this book quite refreshing to read, and I recommend picking this up if you are looking for a comfort-food type of book. It’s a beautifully written, heart-warming read. This book makes me want to pick up more books from Joan Bauer.

  • Sarah
    2019-06-02 07:44

    This is the kind of book about women that the world needs, which is to say it is in no way chick-lit. The protagonist is an ugly-duckling teenager who loves to sell shoes and chaffeurs her 70-something boss around the midwestern and southern US. The majority of the book is spent with this teenage girl, who is anything but frivolous, and a hard-as-nails septuagenarian. There are a couple kind-hearted shoes salesmen and a drunken father, but these are just bit parts. At this book's heart is a story about business and ageism--romance is but briefly mentioned and brushed aside. These women are business-minded and empathetic in a way rarely seen in female characters. Both Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone show that women can be brutal businesswomen without being stone-cold bitches.Proof that not all books about females are about female concerns. Books about women can be, in fact, books about the world just the same way books about men are. If only more people would write books about women that weren't romances that perpetuate stereotypes.Updated to add: Passes the Bechdel Test, handily:

  • Cheryl
    2019-05-26 09:42

    Jenna learns that she's more than her height, and learns how to cope with her alcoholic father, and Mrs. Gladstone learns some things too. Unfortunately, the details of the shoe business and the road trip read as if the author researched them at a distance; they don't feel authentic. And they're as key to the story as the characters, so that's a problem. Still, Bauer's always worth reading if you're into realistic MG and young YA. At least here there's no romance, much less triangle or choice! Definitely passes the Bechdel test!!

  • Divya
    2019-06-02 06:59

    I thought that this is one of Bauer's best books yet! I love how she transforms what people consider a lowly job into something of interest.Jenna is normal, and one thing I love is that the author doesn't emphasize on what she looks like. She works at Gladstone's, a shoe store, where she is passionate about selling shoes. As the book went on I began to wish that I sold shoes too. Jenna has a sister, Faith, a witty mom, and an alcoholic dad. Her mom, Jenna, and Faith left her dad years ago, yet he comes back every now and then. He is always in worse shape than before, and Jenna is ashamed of him. Her sister Faith, still doesn't get why her dad can't stay away from alcohol, since she was too young to remember how bad her Dad was when he had something to drink. When Ms. Madeleine Gladstone offers her a job as a chauffeur to drive her to visit other Gladstone stores, Jenna decides to accept. She just wants to leave home, where her dad has decided to come back and stalk them some more. Her trip is one that changes her life, her view of Ms. Gladstone, and gives her the strength to face her father and save Gladstone stores from being sold to Ms. Gladstone's no good son, Elden.

  • Rebecca
    2019-06-05 10:43

    I’ve been noting which books I’ve read before, and trying to note what I thought of them at the time because I think my thoughts on them from when I actually was a teen are valuable. I don’t remember when I read this one, but I remember enjoying it, liking the writing, and going on to read more by Bauer. And I picked up a used copy when I ran into one. So that’s a fair level of commitment. I didn’t remember anything at all about it, but as soon as I began it I recognized it.When Jenna’s boss demanded that she spend her summer chauffeuring her on a road trip, Jenna was not about to give up her lunch breaks with her best friend or her passion for selling footwear. Jenna reconsiders, however, as her alcoholic father returns to town and dredges up feelings she wishes would stay put behind her. Deciding to escape town with her aging boss, Jenna develops friendships, learns some life lessons, and gets a taste of mild corporate intrigue.While Jenna’s voice can be a little precocious, it works for her character as the oldest child of an alcoholic and as a teen desperate for a place in the adult world. I’ve never heard anyone so passionate for working in retail (other than bookstores…), but she definitely has me sold on the value of Gladstone shoes. I have to say, (spoilers!) (view spoiler)[women are always being killed to further the storyline of a man, so I kind of enjoyed seeing that trope inverted here (hide spoiler)]. I’m a sucker for a road trip story, and Bauer hits all the notes of self-growth and inspiration. Some may find Jenna’s wholesomeness and optimism a hurdle to enjoying the story, but I’m a sucker for that kind of thing done well, which this is. Grades 6-10.

  • Amy • A Magical World of Words
    2019-06-07 03:33

    I first read this about two years ago. It was just as good as I remember. The characters are interesting, witty and relatable. The dialogue is witty, believable, and hilarious. And I mean hilarious!! There are some definite laugh-out-loud moments, and with such strong characters with diverse personalities it was thoroughly enjoyable to read :D Also, there was plenty of wisdom and strong life-lessons in the book. I kinda felt that I grew along with Jenna in her journey. And I could easily relate to Jenna. I often feel ugly and self-conscious, and when I saw myself in some of her situations, I learnt from her actions.It was very well written.

  • Hunter
    2019-06-02 05:40


  • Amy Magram
    2019-06-08 03:36

    Very engaging YA book which i just finished narrating as a recorded book

  • Madelyn Novosad
    2019-05-23 06:58

    This book taugh me about shoes, life, driving, and a little bit about being a stalkholder. It is about a girl named Jenna. She is a great shoe salesman, but she has no idea how to deal with her dad who is an alchoholic. When the president of Gladstone Shoe Stores, Mrs. Gladstone, invites her to be her chauffeur for the summer she agrees, mostly because her dad is in town and he is stalking Jenna and her sister, Faith. Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone visit all the Gladstone Stores in between Chicago and Texas. Jenna meets Harry Bender who teaches her how to deal with her dad. Jenna even wishes that Harry Bender were her dad, I think because he is the only father figure she's ever had. She meets Alice Lovett, a retired shoe model, who gives Jenna fashion tips which help her with her self esteem. As she passes a shop window she thinks, for the first time, now there is a pretty young woman. She even gets to be a spy for a while! Soon after Jenna meets him, Harry Bender dies. At the stockholders meeting Jenna makes a speech which convinces everyone to vote for Mrs. Gladstone to stay wth the new company. Mrs. Gladstone gains complete charge of quality control, and Jenna finally tells her dad how she feels about him being an alchoholic after reporting him for drunk driving. Jenna and her grandmother go on the picnic that Jenna promised they would go on. It was a nice story. I loved the fact that it was well written and you couldn't tell what was going to happen next. The way Jenna talks about it, being a shoe salesman actually sounds fun, and I caught myself imagining myself as a shoe salesman!

  • Christina
    2019-06-12 03:41

    This is a charming coming-of-age story. Jenna loves working at Gladstone Shoes. An unexpected visit from the elderly owner of the company lands her a chaeffuer job. While driving her elderly boss across the country, she finds the courage to stop running away from her own problems and maybe help solve some of Mrs. Gladstone's too.This was incredibly sweet, perhaps too sweet. There are moments where you must suspend your belief, but it ultimately proved to be a worthwhile read. I will admit that it took me a long time to get through this novel. It's not something I would normally pick up and took a while for me to get into, but overall it was really enjoyable and it hits varying emotional points. Bauer plays with some serious topics such as alcoholism and greed and manages to make them lighthearted and thoughtful at the same time. It's filled with fantastic female characters and a very interesting bond forms between Mrs. Gladstone and Jenna. I've also never thought selling shoes would be so meaningful, but I was drinking the Gladstone kool-aid early on in the book, just like Jenna. I would recommend this for young adult readers who enjoy clean realistic fiction.

  • Linda Lipko
    2019-06-02 08:48

    Dealing with the very tough topic of alcoholism and the way in which it impacts those in contact with the alcoholic, Bauer appears to know this topic well.As the oldest child of an alcoholic father, Jenna has learned the games involved, the lies, the deceit and the shame. She has learned all too well how to feel responsible and guilty. When her near do well father breezes into town drunk once again, she decides to take advantage of a unique opportunity.Working as a shoe sales person in Gladstone Shoes, when the owner and elderly Mrs. Gladstone requests that Jeanna drive her throughout the country to some of her shoe stores, Jenna gladly accepts the challenge of life on the road behind the wheel of a large Cadillac.Meeting a host of likeable characters who together work to defeat Mrs. Gladstone's slimy son who attempts to take over the company.When Jenna returns home, she is richer for the journey and is able to confront her father. Sadly, as is the case with some with addictions, daddy loves the bottle more than his family.Jenna learns to put a stop sign in front of the man who has harmed her and her father.

  • Cherylann
    2019-05-25 05:50

    I feel like I've been reading books about quests lately. My last two books were fantasies in which the heroes and heroines headed off on a quest to save either the world or their clan and restore balance to the world. In Rules of the Road, the protagonist is not a demi-god or a vessel. She's just a 16 year old girl. A 16 year old who works part-time selling shoes and hopes to earn enough money over the summer to buy a car. Jenna never expected Mrs. Gladstone, the aging owner of a chain of shoe stores, to ask Jenna to be her driver for 6 weeks over the summer and drive her from Chicago to Dallas and back (with side trips along the way). As Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone set out, they are on a quest to save Mrs. Gladstone's business. What Jenna doesn't realize is that she's on a personal quest of her - a quest to rid her life of some figurative demons. This is a beautifully written book filled with unforgettable characters.

  • Raelene
    2019-06-13 10:38

    Fantastic; I can't give this one enough stars. I'm particularly impressed with the characterization and voice of Bauer's 16 year old protagonist. There is no condescension, no "dumbing-down." It is obvious that she has great respect for teenagers and their strength of character, their capacity to think and to reason and to contribute, when given the opportunity, in even the most serious situations, and their potential to effect positive outcomes as a result of their own free will. I'd love to teach this book in class; there's so many great themes to highlight and discuss. At one point the protagonist wonders why life can't be more like driving - with clear cut road signs to warn of dangers, red lights to keep us from making poor decisions, and speed limits to encourage forward motion? Such a great idea!

  • Margaret H.
    2019-05-31 07:49

    This was a comfort re-read and it worked just great. I love all of Joan Bauer's books, but this one might just be her best-- although Hope Was Here is pretty outstanding too. I think it's really the delicacy and intelligence with which Bauer handles Jenna's alcoholic dad that separates this book from more standard teen fare, especially when combined with the funny, innovative and fully-realized main plot. While the happy ending for the main plot is reached somewhat improbably, it obeys the internal logic of the book and is so satisfying that you won't mind. Similarly, the bittersweet and complicated resolution of Jenna's problems with her dad grounds that narrative and gives the book a weight it might otherwise lack. A really great book, by a really great author.

  • Diana
    2019-06-08 08:43

    Who knew I could love a book that talked about shoes from the beginning to the end. And not the glamorous side of shoes either lol... But I enjoyed this book. Jenna has a lot to learn about life and about how her father's issues cannot rest on her shoulder's any longer if she is going to have a productive life. I enjoyed her journey almost as much as she did and I felt a genuine connection with her character.

  • Anneliese F.
    2019-06-01 09:50

    This book was phenomenal! The ending had such an amazing surprise and then rushed into little sequences to follow the ending! This book was written to entertain readers. And as a matter of fact, IT DID! This novel is a feel-good, strong, and powerful book for sure! Joan Bauer is an amazing author and I would personally like to thank her for creating such an inspiring and award-winning (at least to me) novel, Rules of the Road.

  • ashley nicole
    2019-05-23 03:39

    This is such a heartwarming book that teaches some very important lessons. Themes like never giving up and speaking the truth really stuck out to me. Jenna deals with guilt from things that aren't really her fault; and she has to deal with that. In many ways I could relate to Jenna in feeling guilty. But I love how she finds freedom. I would definitely recommend this book to any age.

  • Chasity Grayson
    2019-06-16 10:38

    **SPOILER ALERT!!!!!**Rules of The RoadChasity Grayson    The book Rules of the Road created by Joan Bauer is a realist fiction book. Joan Bauer is the Newbery Honor author for her book Hope was here. Rules of the road was the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book prize.This amazing woman has also won the Golden Kite award for Fiction.Rules of the Road,a story about 16 year old, 5’11 Jenna Boller who worked at Gladstone’s Shoe Store.To be a 16 year old, she took her job VERY seriously. She was the type of worker that when you walked in the store you wanted her to be the one to assist you.This book gives you the life lesson on how to approach your life and the rules of life.This book isn’t just a book, it’s a story that shows  you that you  can be the happiest looking person in your social life and have the hardest life at home with family. By looking at the cover of the book when you first picked it up,i honestly thought  this was gonna relate somewhat to my life and it did in certain circumstances.With Jenna’s Grandmother,her uncontrolled dad,hard working mom trying to make up for all of what was going on  in a 16 year old's life and her little sister, and her mom trying to protect them.Joan Bauer writes this book about Jenna Boller chauffeuring Mrs.Gladstone the president of Gladstone's Shoe Stores.A wealthy but cranky old lady.Jenna has major pressure at home,her mom and dad had gotten a divorce because he was a BIG alcoholic.Jenna and her sister had not heard from him in person in 2 years and when he did talk to Jenna he didn't really talk to Faith.Jenna's mom really tried to stress to the girls dad that he had more than 1 daughter but he was always to drunk to realize anyones advice.One day,Jenna's at work having a laugh with Murray one of her co-workers,and her dad barged into the store and,just drunk as usual.Trembling his feet and his words he calls for Jenna girl,who's just embarrassed because her BOSS the big lady is there.The next day Mrs.Gladstone comes up to Jenna and Jenna thinks that she is gonna fire her,Mrs.Gladstone wanted to pay Jenna to chauffeur her around to all of the gladstone stores because she was retiring after 50+ years.Her son was going to be taking over and all he cared about was the money.Jenna and Mrs.Gladstone end up getting really really close over the summer and Jenna even finds out that Mrs.Gladstone doesn't even want to retire and that her son is forcing her to retire.In this book Jenna has a moment where she daydreams about HArry being her father, someone she could count on and someone who cared and came to all of her hobbies.Harry Bender one of Jennas favorite people died.After the funeral there was a stockholders meeting.Mrs.Gladstone had got onto the podium and announced that she was retiring. The rating that i would give this book would be a 5 out of .I'm giving it such a high rating because the author wrote this book in such high diction in to which gave you very high emotion while reading it.From the point where you're like “omg when i become old enough to work i want to work like her” to “that's the saddest thing ever” .Joan Bauer made you feel like you were apart of the book.Oh and i hope you didn't think i was gonna forget the best part of writing a book review the spoiler!!!!!Mrs.Gladstone says she is retiring but she really doesn't because Jenna stands up for her with her stockhold and almost everyone jumps on board with her.

  • Melissa Carroll
    2019-05-27 06:55

    Jenna Boller loves working at Gladstone's Shoes. She can't wait to spend her summer selling shoes and spending time with her best friend Opal, until her alcoholic father comes back to town. Coincidently, Jenna is offered to drive Mrs. Gladstone, owner of all the Gladstone's Shoes stores in the U.S., to Texas. Jenna wants to take up Mrs. Gladstone's offer, but can she escape her problems by leaving town?Things I liked: This was therapeutic in the sense that you can run away with Jenna from her problems even if you can't run away from your own in real life. This book is authentic in the way it deals with both alcoholism and dementia, to the point of hitting a little too close to home a few times (this is why it took me so long to finish). I appreciate the references to Al-Anon and the explanation of AA. This could be especially useful for a teen who is in a similar situation as Jenna and is looking for support. I also liked the short, bite size chapters, and the fact that Mrs. Gladstone listens to Jenna even though she is a teen. Perhaps this is because Mrs. Gladstone is not taken seriously because of her age as well. Things I didn't care for: I'm not sure this book would be relevant for modern teens....teens are not as interested in car culture as much these days. Also, I think it would be difficult to sell this read to a teen....because on the surface level it seems like a boring story about shoes and an old lady. Furthermore, while the first 100 pages or so seemed pretty good, the second half of the book seemed rushed and not as genuine. I was a bit disappointed about this to be honest. That being said, the very last chapter was excellent and really showed the way Jenna's character had developed during the story.

  • Melanie Dulaney
    2019-06-12 10:39

    Librarians and believers in bibliotherapy listen up--this is a book for that young lady who doubts that she has anything to offer to anyone, a teen who has a substance abusing parent, a young person that thinks money is the answer to everything and for anyone that could use a fabulous book that will grab their heart and give them a chance for a good cry! Jenna's story is all that and more as she struggles to deal with an almost always absent or drunk father, a single parent home, and now a cranky old woman who needs a driver and help fighting a corporate takeover. I loved this one and am now having trouble ranking Bauer's books because maybe this one needs to be my favorite, but that would mean moving Almost Home and Soar and Squashed and Sticks and so many other around on list of terrific "sad-happy heartbreakers" by author Joan Bauer. She truly is a master at creating fabulous lead characters with real life crises and teaching lessons to that character as well as to the reader who is likely to be fully invested in the story. I have already downloaded Jenna's second adventure, "Best Foot Forward" and can't wait to see what we all can learn from that one! This librarian recommends this book for readers of both genders in grades 6 and up and warns that tissue will be required in at least two scenes towards the book's conclusion.

  • Angie
    2019-05-29 10:34

    Jenna is asked by Mrs. Gladstone, the owner of the shoe store chain she works for, to drive her to Texas for a shareholders meeting. They stop at different Gladstone's Shoes stores along the way and Jenna offers more to Mrs. Gladstone than just being her driver - she "scouts" how the stores are doing, she helps when Mrs. Gladstone needs medical assistance, and she give Mrs. Gladstone the inner strength she needs to fight the impending takeover of the business. This trip is more than Jenna helping Mrs. Gladstone, though, Jenna also learns more about herself on this journey - about her strengths, about how to deal with her family's issues, and about what she can do for the company she likes working for.This was a nice book about the journey of a young lady overcoming her childhood and her family to find her inner strength and purpose. It was fun watching the relationship between Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone unfold.

  • Shinae Wyckoff
    2019-06-09 02:42

    This was my second time around reading this book. First time was as a teenager; second time as a thirty year old. Joan Bauer uses just the right mix of heart and grit to make great realistic-fiction coming-of-age stories. The protagonist is flawed, but overcomes hard circumstances to shine light in the world and hope in the darkness. Bauer doesn’t compromise reality and lower the hurdles to accomplish this; she makes her characters deal with it and stretch themselves to overcome the obstacles. This ain’t the hallmark channel; too gritty. But it does give a satisfying ending with an uplift of hope and goodness.I highly recommend it, based on my enjoyment as a teen reader and now as an adult reader of teen fiction.

  • Joann
    2019-06-12 09:50

    This author does a very good job of combining a number of tough life issues into a readable story without "preachiness." I especially like her dual uplifting of elderly people and teenagers instead of the ever popular pitting of one group against another. In the current world of grubby and gritty stories of "reality," as many modern authors defend their coarse, crass books for teens, this one is refreshing and has some valuable lessons in it. As a parent, I would gladly have my son read this (and plan to) and there will be plenty of interesting discussions about the various issues in it.

  • Luke
    2019-05-26 05:45

    Rules of The Road is awesome- I love Joan Bauer's way of flowing the story carefully with the characters so that in some parts the characters seem to develop ahead of the story, and sometimes, they get hit hard by the story. However, I think it's just this particular story that doesn't have as much of a problem (that is to say, as much of a dramatic problem that's hidden and almost corrupted) as Hope Was Here, one of my favorite books (it's by Joan Bauer). Overall, maybe a 8.75/10? A great book, just that, personally, I prefer Hope Was Here's plot and story much more.

  • Melliott
    2019-06-02 09:58

    I enjoyed this book. I particularly liked it for its portrayal of strong women: Mrs. Gladstone is determined to prevail against those who wish to undermine her company; Jenna's mother has coped with her absent ex's alcoholism and works hard as an ER nurse to support her two girls; and Jenna herself, though in some ways self-doubting, steps up to do the right thing in almost every circumstance in which she is placed. Yes, the story may be a little idealistic in these respects, but it's nice to read something idealistic now and then! I did think that Bauer's treatment of Mrs. Gladstone's son was a bit cardboard-like (one-dimensional and cliched), but aside from that, no complaints.The book addresses some serious subjects (corporate and personal greed, alcoholism, and Alzheimer's disease) thoroughly, but with wit and humor, and some emotion, too. I would hand this to most middle school girls and many boys, with the expectation that they would enjoy it as well.

  • Rebekah Isert
    2019-06-12 03:31

    I loved this book. It's an easy book to read about hard stuff. I think one of the things that I've loved the most about it, time after time that I've read it is how much it not only highlights that just because you shouldn't run away from your problems doesn't mean you have to let them into your life. However, it also drives home that some problems are not your fault, and you don't have to take responsibility for everything, which is personally a big deal for me. I really love this book.

  • Aimee
    2019-06-18 10:39

    I picked up Rules of the Road because it was assigned reading for my children at their middle school. It was just curiousity but I'm glad that I took the time. Rules of the Road is an engaging coming-of-age-story with a lot of humor and heart. I really enjoyed going along for the ride with Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone.

  • Bethany
    2019-06-09 09:48

    There are things I don't like about this book. But I like the hope that it embodies. There are many teens who gave overwhelming challenges that aren't in their control and become amazing people. They usually have the help of one person to see that potential. I recommend this book for anyone who needs that hope or has something in them to share with others to give them hope.

  • Melissa
    2019-06-01 07:53

    This has really made me think about how we interact with people we don't know. The simple exchange of the shopkeeper saying "these shoes have been good friends" to a particularly worn out pair of sneakers has really stuck with me.