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Hit the Road by Caroline B. Cooney
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Hit the Road

by Caroline B. Cooney

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Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

If you want to read one of the most hilarious books of the summer, then you definitely need to pick up a copy of HIT THE ROAD by Caroline B. Cooney. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard, or so often, while reading a book. If you've always believed that people over the age of eighty are nothing but dried up old husks of their former selves, then you need to meet the Buttermeres: Nannie Rawlings, Florence Mirsky, Aurelia Alan, and Daisy Ferrer. And the girl destined to either make an entire carload of new friends, or go crazy in the process, Brittany Anne Bowman.

Forced into her grandmother's care for two weeks while her parents cruise around Alaska, neither Brit nor Nannie particularly want to be babysat. After her own daughter cut her driver's license in half, took away her car, and left her to gather dust, Nannie Rawlings isn't in the best of moods. She's already missed out on last year's Reunion with her three best friends, but this year is number sixty-five, and she has no intention of not attending. So she gets a new license (through less than noble means), rents a car, and sets off with her granddaughter to pick up her friends. Brit soon realizes that if she wants to make it to the Reunion alive and in one piece, she's going to have to be the driver/chaueffer. Which isn't that bad except for situations like this:

"Nannie!" she yelled. "Read the signs! Tell me what to do! Do we want the Cross Island Parkway? Two-ninety-five? Four-ninety-five? The Van Wyck? The L.I.E.? The Long Island Expressway?"

"Those two are the same road."

"But do we want them?" Brit shrieked.

Thus begins a road trip that no one involved is likely to ever forget. Between convincing her parents via cell phone that they're at Nannie's house watching loud television, and convincing the "girls" that no one at the nursing home will realize they're gone, to avoiding the ruthless, money-hungry son of one of their own, HIT THE ROAD is a laugh-out-loud, non-stop story that will have you turning pages long into the night. A winning read that is as emotional as it is funny, Ms. Cooney has penned a definite winner. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 11, 2009 |
Britney is recruited by her elderly grandmother to drive across country and 'kidnap' a college friend who claims to have been forced into a home against her will. I enjoyed this book with the exception of the ending which felt rushed, as if the author suddenly remembered she only had 180 pages and had to end the story. Many issues were left unresolved and the interesting themes of teens gaining their independence while the elders lost theirs was basicly tossed aside while the adults and the boy she had a crush on suddenly appear to make the rescue. A great start with a disappointing end. ( )
  red_dianthus | Jul 5, 2009 |
Richie's Picks: HIT THE ROAD by Caroline B. Cooney, Random House/Delacorte, May 2006, ISBN: 0-385-72944-8; Libr.ISBN: 0-385-90174-7

"You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere"
--Tracy Chapman, "Fast Car"

"Brit had been there when Mom said to Nannie, 'Your eyes are so bad you can't tell the difference between a trash barrel and a two-year-old at the side of the road. Your knees are so stiff it takes you five minutes to brake. You have to stop driving.' Mom went right into Nannie's purse, fished out her driver's license, cut it in half and tossed it in the garbage. In vain, Nannie pleaded, 'Without a car all I can do is gather dust and stare out the window.' Because Nannie's house was three miles from a quart of milk, a committee meeting or a bridge game.
" 'I've hired an aide,' said Brit's mother briskly. 'She'll take you where you want to go. You won't even notice not having a car.'
"How could you not notice that you didn't have a car? Brit had been noticing that one all her life. She noticed every single kid who got their own car and every single one who didn't."

Now, months later, and exactly eleven days after sixteen-year-old Brittany Anne Bowman has gotten her own drivers license, she finds herself unceremoniously dumped--carless--at Nannie's Connecticut house as her parents head off on a trip to Alaska for a couple of weeks. But Nannie, who no longer moves very fast but is still sharp as a tack, has had quite enough of her daughter's tyranny and is ready to fight back in her own way. She and her three college roommates have formulated secret plans to hit the road together and attend their sixty-fifth year college reunion up in Maine. At that age it could well be their last chance.

But when Brit arrives, and it turns out that Nannie is too small to pilot the rental SUV that's, been delivered to her house, Brit suddenly finds herself behind the wheel of that GMC Safari, chauffeuring a pair of the octogenarians up through New England to a facility where one of the elderly quartet of long time friends has been fraudulently and involuntarily committed to an Alzheimer's ward by her money-grubbing son. Their springing Aurelia from Fox Hills Adult Community leads to wild chases, real dangers, and dirty double crosses.

Some of Brit's maneuvering involves cell phone conversations with hunky computer genius and aspiring filmmaker Cooper James, the young man Brit has had a crush on since seventh grade. (He is also the young man who hasn't spoken a word to her in months, since accidentally discovering that he was the unwitting subject of various documents stored in Brit's laptop, such as "Our Wedding" and "Our Honeymoon Plans.")

HIT THE ROAD is a total hoot. Author Caroline B. Cooney has achieved a very entertaining balance between the slapstick humor involving "the girls," the communications technology aspects that allow Brit's friends to be a vital part of the action without ever being inside the luxury SUV, and the story's a-ha moments, where readers will surly recognize how capricious treatment of the elderly by their adult children can seem so incredibly similar to the manner in which many young adults feel they are treated by their parents.

Richie Partington
http://richiespicks.com
BudNotBuddy@aol.com ( )
  richiespicks | May 26, 2009 |
Brittany is forced to stay with her grandmother while her parents go on a trip to Alaska. However, when her grandmother plans to go to her reunion and kidnap one of the "Buttermeres," Brittany begins to think it's a bit too much. Not to mention how she's illegally driving a renting car down dangerously fast highways.
I liked how the "Buttermeres" always had something up their sleeves. The pace was a bit slow at times, though, while others were really fast in contrast. ( )
  DF1A_SarinaZ | Oct 14, 2008 |
This adventure book is about how newly-licensed Brittany, a sixteen year-old, is forced to drive her grandmother, Nannie, and her two former college roommates across country so that they can attend their sixty-fifth college reunion. The happily-ever-after ending is somewhat hare to swallow, but the bravery and spunk of the older characters, especially Nannie, keeps the book humorous and interesting for those reluctant readers. This is an effective book to use in the classroom to examine inter-generational relationships. ( )
  DeirdreHarris | Mar 27, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440229294, Mass Market Paperback)

Brit has had her driver’s license only 11 days when her parents drop her off to stay at her grandmother’s house for two weeks while they go on vacation. Little do they know Brit is headed for a three-state road trip with Nannie to pick up her college roommates, Florence, Aurelia, and Daisy, and bring them to their alma mater for their 65th—and most likely final—reunion.

A reluctant recruit at first, Brit is anxious as well as annoyed when she finds herself responsible for her fragile passengers. But things change as she sits behind the wheel up front and listens to “the girls” in the backseat laugh and reminisce about their 65 years of friendship. Inspired by their lifelong loyalty, Brit is willing to do whatever it takes to get the former college roommates to their reunion safely.

From bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney, a heartwarming look at friendship, both young and old.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:01 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Sixteen-year-old Brittany acts as chauffeur for her grandmother and three other eighty-plus-year-old women going to what is supposedly their college reunion, on a long drive that involves lies, theft, and kidnappings.

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