Review: Road Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen

road trip

Road Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen

This collaboration of father and son is about a road trip to rescue a border collie puppy.  Ben and his father have not been getting along lately.  His father just told Ben that he has quit his job and started to flip houses.  That means that Ben’s hockey camp that he had been promised may not happen this summer.  The road trip is a way for the two of them to spend time together along with their adult border collie, Atticus, and for his dad to avoid his ticked-off mother.  When Ben realizes what is happening, he invites along a friend that his dad doesn’t really approve of.  That friend will not be the last surprise passenger on the trip as they quickly trade their failing truck for a school bus.  Told in alternating chapters, Ben and Atticus explain the journey in their own unique points of view.

This is really a love story to dogs.  Atticus is a huge part of the story, his reactions to people foreshadow what sort of person they will turn out to be.  The use of his perspective is also cleverly done so that his actions are explained to the reader even though the other humans in the book may not fully understand them.  Happily, the various odd characters who join them on their journey are also well drawn and interesting.

The writing is clever and fresh in this slim volume of just over 100 pages.  It is a great pick for reluctant readers.  Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from copy received from Random House Children’s Books.

2013 Edgar Awards Nominees


The nominees for the 2013 Edgar Awards have been announced.  The awards are given by the Mystery Writers of America to acknowledge the best mystery writing of the year. 

Here are the nominees for the Best Juvenile and Best Young Adult mysteries of the year:



Fake Mustache 13 Hangmen The Quick Fix Spy School Three Times Lucky

Fake Mustache: Or, How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind by Tom Angleberger

13 Hangmen by Art Corriveau

The Quick Fix by Jack D. Ferraiolo

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage



Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things The Edge of Nowhere (Saratoga Woods, #1) Crusher Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone Code Name Verity

Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things by Kathryn Burak

The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George

Crusher by Niall Leonard

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein