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Planning a great cross-country trip to begin his life anew with a great job in computers on the West Coast, a young boy's adventure takes an unexpected turn when his car breaks down just hours from home and he is forced to rely on the kindness of others to make his goal a reality. Reprint.
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Jeanne DuPrau is the author of The New York Timesbestseller The City of Ember and its companion The People of Sparks. She lives in Menlo Park, California, and drives a hybrid car that runs on a combination of gas and electricity.From School Library Journal:
Grade 8 Up–Computer whiz Duff Pringle, 17, has a used car and six days to get from Virginia to California where a job awaits him creating computer games. When he breaks down shortly after he sets out, he finds someone who has a car that needs to be driven to St. Louis. He picks up Stu, a seemingly harmless drifter, who turns out to be a blessing and a curse. During the ride, Duff explains that he doesn't have time for girls, but in reality he simply doesn't know how to talk to them. In St. Louis, Duff meets Bonnie, the teenage daughter of the vehicle's owner, a con artist hospitalized in Virginia. She decides to travel with the guys to California where she can stay with an aunt. Slowly Duff begins to break out of his shell and to have a relationship with her. His transition does not occur with the push of a button; instead it takes place over real-time, and even though there's no job when he reaches California, readers know that his life is on the right track. Ending with hope, Car Trouble is a good read that is kept moving by strong characters who steer the flow of the story.–Tracy Karbel, Glenside Public Library District, Glendale Heights, IL
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