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Car Trouble

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  374 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
From the author of The City of Ember comes the story of Duff Pringle, a high school grad with a job lined up on the West Coast. As he heads out in his used car, Duff is only a few hours out when the engine throws a rod, leading him to a series of road adventures.
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published 2005 by Greenwillow Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 30, 2008 Maura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did this book with a group of 8th graders in book club and it was very successful. They liked it and really got the humor and pathos of the characters and situations. Duff does what every teen seems to want to do - take to the open road for freedom and the fulfillment of dreams of wealth and success - but the events that unfold are more like what each parent fears will happen. However, Duff proves to be more resilient and resourceful than he knew he could be, and in the end it all works out.
Sep 09, 2012 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
Car Trouble is a work of Young Adult Fiction that seems to suggest that young people might struggle a bit along the way, but they can reject their parents (for the most part) and be whatever they want to be. While some young folks can and do succeed without their parents' assistance, we know that most runaways, etc. wind up on the street rather than succeeding in Hollywood, Nashville, or Silicon Valley.

Our young hero is offered a job right out of high school, buys a junk car and heads across co
Jett Tolliver
Dec 12, 2013 Jett Tolliver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Duff is a young man that is going to explore the world. He got a big job offer in a big city. He has to take his car all the way their and when Duff's Ford Escort breaks down after barely a hundred miles, he uses his laptop and some quick thinking to piece together a way to continue his trip. What he doesn't plan on are the characters he meets along the road, including a hitchhiker with a secret, an aspiring singer with a con artist for a mother, a couple of thugs, and a carsick terrier. I woul ...more
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Manav Singh
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Nov 24, 2008 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-reports
This book is about the insane adventures of one of the biggest technological geeks ever, Duff. Duff has a job, so he has to leave his nice home and travel all the way across the country to california, for the job. Along the way he picks up a hitchhiker named Stu, and this story is about the things that these two do together as they both attempt to get California. This is a absolutely great book and I reccomend it to anyone who reads at all!!
Gavin Ash
Jan 18, 2017 Gavin Ash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was AMAZING Its a gotta read book!
Sep 28, 2008 Cam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good.Good. ...more
Shelby Durant
Duff Pringle is a seventeen-year-old computer genius that lives in Virginia. His father is always getting on his case about how he is always glued to a computer, when he could be like all of the other boys his age in town and play football. Duff had received notice from a company in California that they would like him to travel there and work for their business. This business, of course, was a computer software maintenance company. Duff decided this job would be good for him and he went out and ...more
Nov 28, 2012 Arjun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 7th-grade
I think car trouble was a unique book that wasn't too exiting but not too boring either. In car trouble the main character: Duff Pringle is on his way straight out of high school (which is sort of unrealistic) to a well paying computer programming job in California. At first Duff plans to fly there but a strange website convinces him that driving there will be more scenic and fun. So duff uses some of his money to buy a Ford Escort from a pizza place for 600$. The only problem with the car is th ...more
Visha' Fon
Car trouble by Jeanne DuPrau is a well written fictional novel that comes from the point of view of Duff, a boy fresh out of high school that is looking for a new hi-tech job to start his career and become wealthy. Duff has six days to drive 3,000 miles across the country from Richmond, Virginia to San Jose, California.
Anybody making the transition from their education to the start of their new career can relate to the many life lessons Duff must learn to become an adult upon his journey through
Thomas Sederquist
The first chapter in car trouble is Duff Departs. It is about this kid who goes to college, and the car that comes to pick him up is a small white Ford Escort that he had bought last week. And right when he got to the curb, his dad comes running out the door holding a cup of coffee in one hand. I like this book so far because he is going to college to work on computers, and his ford escort breaks down after barely a hundred miles, he uses his laptop and some quick thinking to piece together a wa ...more
Kay Mcgriff
Oct 17, 2011 Kay Mcgriff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for a road trip, look no further than Jeanne du Prau’s Car Trouble. I thoroughly enjoyed going along for the ride with Duff and his unexpected traveling companions. The characters are zany, and the open road leads Duff in unexpected directions.

Duff is a certified nerd, geek, and computer genius. Against his parents’ wishes, he sets off in a used Ford Escort to see the country before settling in to work with a computer company in California. He wants to change the world, but ca
Duff,rebelling from his parents about going to college gets a hi-tech job in California,which he hopes will get him wealthy.
Sadly to think that his car broke down before he reached 100 miles;keeping it from his parents,he fixes the problem himself using his quick thinking and his hi-tech skills.He had planed this whole journey like a tech pro but things started to go in the wrong direction.Along the roads,He meets a hitchhiker,stu,who seemed nice and outgoing at first but sooner Duff
Sep 30, 2012 Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Novel, "Car Trouble," was a story filled with thrilling moments. I chose this book because it was written by the author of the previous book I read, and it had a catchy title. Car Trouble was about a young man named Duff who had to travel to California by car to start a new job. On the way there, he faced his car breaking down, someone stealing his wallet, being in a convicts house, and meeting new friends. I enjoyed the authors point of view because it was in third person and she made every ...more
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Duff is a computer whiz. He lives his entire life in a computer like world dealing with problems that come up like command codes put into a computer. After attending a convention for computer programming Duff is offered a very good job in California. Determined to go for this opportunity despite his parents objections Duff starts out on his journey that will not only take him to California but to become a better person as well.
Along the way on this road trip Duff encounters many interesting ch
DJ Hussy
Car Trouble by Jeanne Duprau is a book filled with mysteries, suspense, and adventure and personally I like some adventure in a book combined with mystery because it gets the story into action and you never know what will happen next because Jeanne Duprau has done a great job by creating some suspense in the story so that leaves the reader unsure of what would happen next but leaves the reader asking questions and finding answers from context clues, sequence of events, etc. Car Trouble is about ...more
Dec 08, 2016 Ayesha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars. Maybe even a three and a half. I don't know.
Let me start off by saying, I REALLY did not want to finish this book halfway through because Duff, the main character, was REALLY annoying me. I just did not like his character at all in the beginning. But I kept reading because I was told he got better.
And he does.
But it takes a while.
There's not much to say about it though.
Mainly why I liked this book was the fact that I felt we were in similar situations. Both starting out in a new expe
Apr 21, 2011 Linnae rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Duff is determined to prove to his parents that he can make it on his own in the real (non-computer related) world. To that end, he decides to drive cross-country to his new job in California. Only his car breaks down about 100 miles from home. Not willing to admit defeat so soon, he patches together the rest of his road-trip the best he can. It involves the scenic route, a friendly (but possibly untrustworthy) hitch-hiker, alternative energy, the daughter of a con artist, and a couple of differ ...more
Mar 30, 2013 Ruby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't realize when I started reading this that is was by the same author as the City of Ember series. The writing style flows better than those books, and it's a really interesting storyline told from the perspective of a 17 year old boy setting out on a road trip to start a pipedream of computer job on the west coast. His car breaks down not two hundred miles from home, but he'll be damned if he calls his parents for help.
Ineresting and entertaining enough, but nothing to write home about. There's something a little funky about the style of narration that I can't quite pin down. I also can't quite remember what it was like in 2005 when this book was written, but I have a hard time believing that someone could have absolutely no concept of alternative energy sources. These gripes aside, the characters and story are probably interesting enough for younger teens.
Aug 16, 2007 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teen boys, anyone who drives a car
Shelves: realistic
Almost-18 year old Duff drives cross country to start a new computer tech job, his first ever. But things don't always go as he plans, and he has to think on his feet, take care of car engine problems, deal with a weird hitchhiker, and discover his own talents outside of computer geekdom. Lots of fun.
Cheryl Cufari
Mar 12, 2013 Cheryl Cufari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-ya
A fun read for intermediate or young adult readers with coincidence and good luck running strong through this story. Duff to me exemplifies the eternal optomism and resilience of youth meeting up with challenging people but going on with his dream of working at a technology company. The story keep the reader engaged and entertained.
Oct 13, 2014 Claire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not like this book very much. It bored me almost entire,y throughout the story plot. I gave it three stairs because it was not the worst book but it is still not a five star book. I chose this book knowing that it was about an older boy but maybe I could not relate to it throughout the plot which bored me. There was also very little detail that did not thrill me.
Tyler Bachinsky
Sep 06, 2013 Tyler Bachinsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was a great book. Alot of gret twists and tur ns through out the book diffinitly a have to read. If you like book with cars and lots of thugs then this is is the book for you. Duff is a great main character with what we could say some interesting other characters. If you are looking for a great book to read then this is a great book definitly would recomond!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb 09, 2008 Elissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
The adventures of a computer geek as he drives across the country and the people he meets along the way after his car breaks down. The geek is written in such a way as to gain sympathy from the reader but I'm not sure it works. The lessons about our dependency on oil and gas are pretty obviously lessons.
Carley Lynn
This book was ok i expected a little more with the theme. I would reccomend this book to teenagers. Its about a 17 year old boy called Duff. He is on his way to California for this job offer he got. He decided not to go to college because he is into computers too much, but later on he finds another interest after his car breaks down! I dont want to give the story away to read it!
I read this to check out another book by Jeanne DuPrau besides the Ember series. I didn't like this as much, but it was a quick read and quite light hearted. The plot is about teenagers who take a road trip and all the zany things that happen to them.
Fun book about high school graduate who drives across the country to California in anticipation of his new job in the computer industry. Along the way he learns plenty of life lessons on dealing with the world and the people around him.
May 14, 2010 Kelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starting out as a cute young adult fiction novel. We'll see if it keeps up. :)

Definitely cute. Not one I'll be racing to read again, but it's cute. :) Very fun story for young adults- I'd bet around middle school age, even though it's about high school kids. :)
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Jeanne DuPrau spends several hours of every day at her computer, thinking up sentences. She has this quote taped to her wall: "A writer is someone for whom writing is harder than it is for other people" (Thomas Mann).
This gives her courage, because she finds writing very hard. So many words to choose from! So many different things that could happen in a story at any moment! Writing is one tough de
More about Jeanne DuPrau...

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