Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hit the Road by Caroline Cooney

I gave this book a rating of four out of five. Brit's parents are going on a trip to Alaska, so they plan for her to stay with Grandma while they're gone. The plot evolves as Brit's 86-year old grandmother already had plans to run away to a reunion with her friends. Brit ends up driving the car, even though she only has two weeks of practice driving experience with her parents. This lends itself to many humorous moments as Brit tries to control the car, her cell phone, her grandmother and friends, and still follow directions to their destinations. The actual conflict surrounds one of Grandma's friends, whose son is trying to steal all of her money. The police and lawyers get involved, and it appears to them as though Brit may be a kidnapper and a thief. The author manages to keep the reader hanging for the climax to the plot until the last few pages of the book.

I enjoyed the unusual plot to this book, and Brit has problems just any teenager. She's torn about her decision to help her grandmother, and this problem remains an internal conflict throughout most of the book. The major concern some readers may have is that much of the setting is in a rental car. This limits the "action" of the plot, but the story's conflict isn't about action. The plot involves a greedy son's plan to manipulate doctors and lawyers to get his mother committed to a hospital, so he can steal her freedom and the millions of dollars she's saved over her lifetime.

Lexile level from 790

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