Meet Jenna Boller, star employee at Gladstone's Shoe Store in Chicago. Standing a gawky 5'11'' at 16 years old, Jenna is the kind of girl most likely to stand out in the crowd--for all the wrong reasons. But that doesn't stop Madeline Gladstone, the president of Gladstone's Shoes 176 outlets... read more
The Rules of the Road written by Joan Bauer is a powerful book about a teenage girl discovering herself on an eventful trip across country. I found this book powerful, especially for teenage girls, because it depicts a somewhat awkward teenage girl struggling with who she is, problems within... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The Rules of the Road written by Joan Bauer is a powerful book about a teenage girl discovering herself on an eventful trip across country. I found this book powerful, especially for teenage girls, because it depicts a somewhat awkward teenage girl struggling with who she is, problems within her family, and what she believes in. Overall, I thought this book was very good. It was a quick read, but a meaningful one. I couldn’t help but be a silent cheerleader for Jenna throughout the whole book. From the beginning of the book it is easy to tell that Jenna is a good, hard working young girl. She has obviously dealt with a lot, including an alcoholic father an overworked mother and a grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. However, through all of this she has a good upbringing that has instilled in her strong morals. When Jenna is asked to drive Mrs. Gladstone, the owner of the shoe store she works at, on a cross country trip from Chicago to Dallas her inner strength is tested multiple times. Mrs. Gladstone, herself, is struggling with changes that are affecting her physical and emotional health and Jenna proves to be pillar of strength for this older business woman. I was very impressed with Jenna’s character because she dealt with a lot of Mrs. Gladstone’s issues like an adult, not like many teenagers her age would. I was happy with the ending and thought that is was a good way to tie everything up. The way that Jenna deals with her father at the end of the book, is just another example of how Jenna is wise beyond her years. I really enjoyed reading this book, it was well written and it caught my attention right away and kept it throughout the whole story. I would recommend it to not only to young adult readers but adult readers too.
In this book the main character, Jenna deals with three different types of conflict. The first type is Person against Person. Jenna has a deep rooted conflict with her alcoholic father. She had to grow up dealing with his drinking and the consequences from it. She does not have a good relationship with her father because he has hurt her so much throughout the years. She is continually conflicted because she knows he doesn’t want to necessarily hurt her, but he also doesn’t do anything to help himself. She is a mature enough character to know that her father is dealing with a disease, however, he is still her father and his actions cut deep.
The second conflict that Jenna is dealing with is Person against Self. Jenna is a teenage girl and this conflict is typical in this age group. She is sorting through her body image and being happy with what she looks like. Jenna is also conflicted about who she is as a person. I believe that the trip she takes with Mrs. Gladstone does wonders for this specific conflict. The trip helps her accept herself wholly.
The final conflict that I see Jenna deal with is Person against Society. Jenna becomes very close with Mrs. Gladstone in this story. Jenna respects her as a business woman and looks up to her as almost a mentor. Jenna gets very deep into Mrs. Gladstone’s problems with her son trying to run her out of her shoe business. Here, there isn’t much Jenna can do except support Mrs. Gladstone and stand up for what she believes is right. Jenna learns that some things are just out of her hands and that she can fight for what is right, and sometimes the outcomes will be positive and sometimes they won’t.
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