Synopses & Reviews
CHARLIE HILL, straight-A student, straight-A geek, and Most Likely to Be a Human Squid for the Rest of His Life, is having a bad day. The worst. All he wants to do is make it through school without being on the receiving end of a beating from Leo Gonzalez, but things don't turn out exactly the way he planned. Just as Leo is about to rip his face off, Charlie's ex-best friend Jake pulls up in their principal's bright red '67 Mustang. Charlie has to choose between a broken nose and the risk of a lifetime, and for the first time in his life, he decides to take a chance.
Now Charlie and Jake are off on the open road. And when their journey of a thousand miles ends in a courtroom far from home, Charlie will have to make the most difficult decision of all.
Debut novelist Scott William Carter writes a stunning book about two boys on a road trip that will keep readers turning the pages from the powerful opening line to the last compelling page.
"In his touching and impressive debut novel, Carter tells the story of two teenagers coping with the fallout of broken families. Charlie, a good student and artist who is shy around girls, has just found out that his mother is getting remarried. His former best friend Jake, now in foster care, has become a tough kid who regularly gets suspended from school. When a school bully threatens Charlie, Jake literally rides to the rescue, driving up in a stolen Mustang and dragging Charlie on a road trip to Denver to find the latter's father and give him a drawing. On the way they meet a group of stoners, run from the police, and console a depressed woman at a motel. There are a few missteps believable as a virgin 16-year-old boy might be, one who has never masturbated is pushing it but for the most part, Carter's storytelling is on target. Some early foreshadowing tempers what might otherwise have been a jarring ending to this road trip story, and both Jake and Charlie come across as believable characters with interesting stories to tell. Ages 12 up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Well-developed characters and twists and turns along the way reveal the complexity of friendship, the redemptive power of second chances, the importance of looking past preconceived notions, and the lasting effects of choices (major and and#8220;insignificantand#8221; alike) and the responsibility one takes for them. This is a good choice for reluctant readers."--andlt;Iandgt;School Library Journalandlt;/Iandgt;
"There is surprising nuance in the shades of gray behind the good-kid/bad-kid duality that has pigeonholed Charlie and Jake...readers [will] appreciate the laugh-out-loud moments and the insights into the teen-guy sensibility, its camaraderie, and its codes of honor."--andlt;Iandgt;The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Booksandlt;/Iandgt;
"In his touching and impressive debut novel, Carter tells the story of two teenagers coping with the fallout of broken families...Jake and Charlie come across as believable characters with interesting stories to tell."--andlt;Iandgt;Publishers Weeklyandlt;/Iandgt;
When Charlie is getting beaten up by bullies, his ex-best-friend Jake pulls up in a bright red '67 Mustang--the principal's car--and tells him to get in. It's a choice between a broken nose and the risk of a lifetime, and for the first time in his life, Charlie decides to take a chance. Now, Charlie and Jake are on a mission to find Charlie's absent father, and to avoid getting arrested for car theft. On the way, Charlie will learn a lot more about life than he ever expected to, discover the bond of friendship he never thought he'd have, and end up in the middle of a court case, a thousand miles from home. And in that courtroom, Charlie, a self-described straight-A student and grade-A geek, will have to make the ultimate choice of his life.
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;Scott William Carterandlt;/bandgt; is the author of andlt;iandgt;Wooden Bones andlt;/iandgt;and andlt;iandgt;The Last Great Getaway of the Water Balloon Boysandlt;/iandgt;, which was hailed by andlt;iandgt;Publishers Weeklyandlt;/iandgt; as a and#8220;touching and impressive debut.and#8221; His short stories have appeared in dozens of popular magazines and anthologies, including andlt;iandgt;Analogandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Ellery Queenandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Realms of Fantasyandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;Weird Talesandlt;/iandgt;. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two children. Visit him at ScottWilliamCarter.com.