HOW TO STEAL A CAR by Pete Hautman (Scholastic, 2009) is an interesting examination of how things can simply get out of control without too much provocation. Kelleigh is the person who might be voted "Least likely to do anything wrong" by her classmates and friends and certainly her parents. However, decisions take only brief flashes of a second, decisions that can alter so much quickly. It begins with Kelleigh boosting a car at the spur of the moment. It begins to become much more. Hautman, never an author to create broad characters and easy stereotypes, has fashioned an interesting family dynamic with Kelleigh: a father who hopes to get a rapist off on a technicality, a mother who perhaps imbibes too much sometimes, some friends who also take unnecessary risks. These stories all parallel, making Kelleigh's actions believable.
READING LADDER RUNGS:
CHASING TAILIGHTS by Patrick Jones
NO RIGHT TURN by Terry Trueman
I hope some of you will join in the discussion of READING LADDERS over at the English Companion Ning. There is some preliminary discussion now: a chance to pose questions for me. The book discussion gets underway June 7.