For most kids, going to go on a road trip to adopt a puppy would be a lot of fun. Most kids aren't Ben, who is none too pleased to be stuck on the open road with a father who has a knack for getting into trouble. Between his parents' rocky relationship, his father's harebrained new house-flipping business, and a broken-down truck, Ben doesn't have a very good feeling about the way his summer is going to go.
Things get even weirder as the road trip begins, though, and that makes life a while lot more interesting. After ditching the truck for a schoolbus and picking up a strange assortment of characters along the way, Ben just might start to have some fun and even start to develop a newfound understanding of the man he calls Dad. Road Trip, narrated alternately by Ben and his dog Atticus, is a snappy story full of misfits, misadventures, and fun, Good choice for reluctant readers. 136 pages.
Recommended by Molly Crumbley, Librarian, MD, US
Take a sleepy boy named Ben and his overly-enthusiastic father and add the family Border Collie, Atticus, who notices everything, and Ben’s troubled pal Theo, a cranky mechanic named Gus who owns a school bus, and a sassy waitress who knows how to handle herself, as well as any situation, and you get a road trip to rescue a border collie pup that could just rescue the whole bus load of rescuers.
Ben has been looking forward to hockey camp and is really upset when his father tells him they don’t have the money for it because he has gone into business for himself, flipping houses. Ben’s father thinks a road trip with Atticus, the family Border Collie, will take Ben’s mind off of what he can’t have, while they rescue a Border Collie pup. To spite his father, Ben invites his older, often troubled friend, Theo, to come along. Of course, Ben’s father is not mechanically inclined, so they have trouble with the truck and need to find another way to get to the animal shelter. Enter Gus and his bus. Things pick up when they stop for lunch and add Mia, a waitress who is tired of being treated badly by customers and joins their rescue mission. If you like dogs, you will enjoy this rescue mission.
Ages 10-13 128 pages 978-0385741910
Recommended by Alice Cyphers, Librarian, Pennsylvania USA
Read Alikes: CRUSH by Gary Paulsen, LIAR, LIAR by Gary Paulsen, MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE by J.B. Cheaney