Monday, July 22, 2013

MMGM: Road Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen

Date Published: January 8, 2013 ISBN: 0375990313
Genre: Middle Grade, realistic fiction, humorous fiction
Publisher: Random House
Themes: dogs, rescue, father and son, family
Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes And Noble/ *Indie Bound*

About The Book: Dad and Ben haven't been getting along recently and Dad hopes a road trip to rescue a border collie will help them reconnect. But Ben is on to Dad's plan and invites Ben's thuggish buddy, Theo. The family dog, Atticus, comes along too and the story is told by Ben and Atticus. When their truck breaks down, they commandeer an old school bus, along with its mechanic, Gus. Next, they pick up Mia, a waitress escaping a tense situation. Only sharp-eyed Atticus realizes that Theo is on the run—and someone is following them.

First Few Lines: 
"Are you sure this is a good idea?"
"Because I'm your father and I said so."
"That's really lame."

What Others Are Saying: “The authors score on all fronts: they set an entertainingly frenzied pace, provide twists aplenty, create true dialogue that blends humor and pathos, and bring together a close-knit ensemble.” —Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"Dog lovers will especially enjoy the amusing glimpses into the wise dog's mind.Given its notable brevity and Ben's age-appropriate, oft-times snarky, attitude, this should be an easy sell for reluctant readers." —Kirkus Reviews

Tween Review: "My favorite part of this book was the border collie Atticus. The funny part was he didn’t know he was a dog!"—Teen Scene

Bloggers Weigh In:

What I Thought: A quick fun ride for dog lovers, Road Trip offers twists and turns characteristic of Paulsen's other books. The tween voice of Ben has just the right amount of a sardonic tone to sound authentic. I rarely like when a story is told from the point of view of a dog, usually because too many human characteristics makes the character of the dog seem forced. Atticus was okay and didn't distract from the story. The target age will appreciate Atticus's straight shooting perspective.This will appeal to older middle grade and reluctant readers. 

Photo Credit: Publishers Weekly
About The Authors: 
Gary and Jim Paulsen

Gary's Website
Jim's Website
Publisher Weekly- Great interview with both authors.

Gary: "Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure. A youthful summer of rigorous chores on a farm; jobs as an engineer, construction worker, ranch hand, truck driver, and sailor; and two rounds of the 1,180-mile Alaskan dog sled race, the Iditarod; have provided ample material from which he creates his powerful stories." —Website

Jim: After studying to be a teacher, Jim realized that even though he loved teaching he missed the arts. He quit teaching and began searching for his place in the art world. "While on the phone on a winters day in 1998, I thumbed a piece of my daughter's play dough. By the end of the conversation, I had completed a simple, crude bust of a man. I fell in love with the clay at that very moment and knew what I was looking for." —Paulsen and Paulsen Fine Art


  1. I loved this book and all its quirky characters. It's just a fun, quick read.

  2. This had its moments, but I like the Liar,Liar series a bit more. Paulsen's turn at humor was a pleasant surprise!

  3. Most of my students are big Paulsen fans. I haven't read this one yet- so I will have to get to it and share it with them. Thanks!


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