Road Trip
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Road Trip

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  457 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Dad and Ben haven't been getting along recently and Dad hopes a road trip to rescue a border collie will help them reconnect. But Ben is on to Dad's plan and invites Ben's thuggish buddy, Theo. The family dog, Atticus, comes along too and the story is told by Ben and Atticus. When their truck breaks down, they commandeer an old school bus, along with its mechanic, Gus. Nex...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Wendy Lamb Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

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Gigi
Dec 26, 2012 Gigi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: dog lovers and kids ages 8 and up
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margaret
I enjoyed this book but I especially like the way Paulsen and his son wrote alternating chapters for it. A bit like Writing Roulette. Great dog story, too!
Chris
I did not expect to laugh quite as much as I did while reading this story. 14-year-old Ben's father seems to be a bit of a flake. He wakes Ben up VERY early one morning for a road trip to go rescue a border collie puppy. But along with the worthy rescue mission, Ben learns his father has just quit his job to start flipping houses and his mother isn't too happy about it. Ben is even less happy when his father tells him that since money will be tight for a while, they may not be able to follow thr...more
Ms. Yingling
Ben's father has lost his job, and apparently his mind-- not only is he trying to fix up a house to flip, but he wants to go on a road trip to a shelter to pick up another border collie. Atticus, the family's dog, is excited about the trip but apprehensive about the puppy (some chapters are told from his point of view).When their truck breaks down, Ben and his father manage to find an old school bus to borrow, as long as they take along the mechanic, Gus. They also pick up Mia, a waitress who ne...more
Nicole
Road Trip by Gary and Jim Paulsen
Wendy Lamb Books, 2013
Realistic Fiction
128 pages
Recommended for grades 6-8

It's never good when a book review starts:
I'm a big fan of Gary Paulsen, however....

...however, I'm not a fan of whatever it was that this book was meant to be.

Ben's family is on the Border Collie rescue group's e-mail list, and are notified of a puppy new to a shelter. Ben's dad decides that taking a two day road trip to get the puppy is just what he needs to keep his mind off things (a n...more
Ann Haefele
Gary Paulsen and his son Jim combined talents to write this winning adventure story. 14 year old Ben and his Dad start a road trip to pick up a border collie from a shelter. In reality, Dad has planned this trip as he has some father/son discussions that need to happen. Dad has quit his job, is flipping houses, and because of the family's financial circumstances, Ben will not be able to go to summer hockey camp...something Ben has been looking forward to for a couple of years. Ben is so mad at h...more
Marcie
The author's note which explains how prolific Gary Paulsen and his son, Jim Paulsen, wrote this as a series of alternating e-mails makes this father son story even more fun. Fourteen year old Ben, his Dad and border collie Atticus take a road trip to rescue another border collie. Along the way they interact with quirky and exciting characters. The short chapters are separated by Atticus's reactions and comments which are always insightful and humorous. This fun, quick read will appeal to fans of...more
Deb Tyo
Road Trip is a bit unbelievable. The story seemed rushed, a bit summarized at times. Definitely not my favorite Paulsen book.

With that said, I will see what my readers have to say. I have a feeling that most will probably enjoy the story---short and fast-paced.

I can already hear myself giving the booktalk..."Well, here's a book you won't like. You and your dad are on a road trip? You're going to rescue a dog? Your car breaks down and you end up on an old school bus? Two complete strangers join...more
Angie
This book melted my heart. Gary Paulsen and his son, Jim, alternated chapters about a wild dad and his down to earth son Theo. But Jim's point-of-view is from their dog, Atticus. That's a great name for this dog because he's wise and quiet, protective of his family, and a leader when it's required.

I couldn't help but picture big gruff teddy bear, Gary Paulsen, as the Dad with crazy schemes. A road trip that started with just a dad and his son off to rescue a border collie pup turned into much m...more
Gladys
I'm not really a fan of Gary Paulsen, but someone recommended this book and I had to try it. I began hesitantly, but by the time I read the end of chapter one I was in love with the book. I do not know whose idea was to include Atticus point of view, but this is what won me over! Could really identify with Atticus since as a dog owner I know that dogs have attitudes that go beyond the normal. Love, love, love the book, hope others have the same experience.
Tahleen
Loved it! I needed an audiobook to quickly download on my phone, and this was available. So glad it was; this is a great story about 14-year-old Ben, his dad, and their old border collie Atticus going on a last-minute road trip to rescue a border collie puppy from a shelter a few days away. Unfortunately, Ben's dad tells him something that makes him extremely angry, causing a very tense ride. Along the way, they pick up a motley crew of people, as well as a school bus, leading to an exciting and...more
Mary Lee
Love that it's a father and son adventure in the story and a father and son writing adventure. Love the alternating chapters told by the dog's point of view. The story is fast-paced enough that kid readers will likely not be disturbed by the many improbabilities in the story -- they'll just climb on the bus with the characters and go along for the ride.
Helen
I'm afraid this Paulsen book was a disappointment. I was expecting more from him but this was just too silly for me. It is a realistic fiction WAW possibility about a boy and his dad going to pick up a shelter dog that is a day's drive away. They get a call to come get the dog since they have their name in for any border collies. And the dad feels it's a great time to let his son know he has quit his job and started flipping houses so the money will be tight for awhile. But there are several pro...more
Debra
This was a nice break in my listening library. A little far fetched at times, but quite enjoyable. A father and son who are not communicating well head off on the beginning of summer vacation for a not planned 2-day trip to rescue a dog. To pad the discomfort of being in the car with his father for a long trip the son invites a friend that he knows will irritate his father. Then 40 miles down the road the truck breaks down and life begins to get interesting.

As the father sets out to make lemona...more
Jeanne
I really enjoyed reading this book! Funny! Heartwarming! Highly recommended for older juveniles and for YA.
Seth Smallwood
Over all this is a good short book. But, the development is slow in the book and very crowded. What I mean by crowded is that the main problem that is given at the start of the book gets swamped with other problems. The character development is quite good, you can picture the characters and they are pretty easy to see a part of you in them. I do wish though that the book was made longer and not swamp every chapter with a new problem.
My actual review is 3.5
I also liked seeing a book made by a a...more
Amy
14-year-old Ben thinks it’s a little weird that his dad wakes him up at 5am to go on a random road trip, but then again, Ben’s dad is kind of a spontaneous guy. He doesn’t even let Ben change out of the t-shirt and gym shorts he wore to sleep before they are on their way in a beaten-up old truck. Their destination? An animal shelter where they will rescue a border collie that needs a home. Ben can get behind the idea of rescuing a dog - after all, he loves their current border collie, Atticus, w...more
Kim
Grades 6-8
Ben is seriously irritated with his father-- although he knows his dad is impulsive, the fact that he's quit his boring but steady job to go into business flipping houses means that the family finances are in a mess and Ben may not be able to go to hockey camp this summer. But right now a more immediate crisis looms: Ben and his dad are taking a road trip to rescue an abandoned border collie puppy. Along the way, they pick up a thuggish friend of Ben's from school, a cranky auto mechan...more
Heidi
I'm not entirely sure what to make of this book. In some ways I really enjoyed it, the dog's commentary for example was quite amusing. The relationships between the characters were interesting even though the sudden addition of some characters seemed a tad unbelievable.

When Dad and Ben set off to pick up a rescued border collie pup, Ben assumes it will be anything but typical, after all his father is in charge. But when he finds out that thanks to his father's new business, he won't be attendin...more
Tasha
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 h...more
Nancy
Ben and his father, along with their border collie Atticus, hit the road in order to adopt a border collie pup from a shelter. As the trip begins, things begin to get outrageous and mushroom from there. Ben is surprised to learn that his dad quit his job in order to focus on his new venture in flipping houses. Along they way they pick up Ben's friend Theo, a juvenile delinquent running from the law. Next thing you know they are riding a school bus, with mechanic Gus and waitress Mia in tow. The...more
Karen Ball
Ben thinks his dad is pulling him out of bed before dawn for a trip to pick up a rescued border collie puppy. Dad has some ulterior motives for getting Ben in the truck for a two-day road trip, though -- he's quit his insurance executive job to start renovating houses, and now there's not enough extra money to pay for Ben to go to hockey camp next month. Ben is understandably angry about that, since his part of the deal was getting straight As all year. A bit of quick-thinking revenge, and sudde...more
Ragan
This a feel good book about having great times with the family you are born with and the family you make. Nice and short. It took me about 90 minutes to read. Maybe you can do better?

I've decided all books can't be rated with the same criteria. Will this book linger in my memory and keep me up nights thinking about the implications of its message? Nope. Was some of the book unrealistic? Yes, but not enough to bother me. Did I feel good after I read it? Absolutely! Did I think about starting to r...more
Mary-Megan
As a person who prefers cats over dogs, I was a little hesitant about how I would feel about a book centered around a dog. Dog or cat lover aside, this is a cute and quirky book about learning to let go and enjoy the ride.

Ben's dad surprises him early in the morning with the idea of a road trip in order to pick up a border collie from a rescue shelter. It's a spur of the moment excursion that leaves Ben uneasy, especially when he learns that his dad quit his job in order to flip houses. Angry wi...more
Barbara
When Ben's father learns of a border collie that needs rescuing, he seizes on the road trip as a possible way to inform Ben of some recent changes in their lives. He's just quit his job and has decided to restore rundown houses and then sell them at a profit. Ben is not pleased since his father's decision may mean no summer hockey camp for him. While he seethes, he impulsively invites Theo, an older boy he has been tutoring, along for the ride. The trio has hardly gotten out of town before the t...more
M.
Fun book, easy to read. Age appropriateness? For sheltered middle class kids, maybe 5th grade and up. For less sheltered kids, maybe 4th grade and up. Also very good for older kids reading below grade level as it's a fun and interesting read.

Ben's dad wakes him early one morning and announces the two of them are going on a short road trip to do an animal rescue for a border collie puppy. Ben's dad is portrayed as impulsive, inconsistent, and unreliable and 14-year old Ben is mad at him for good...more
Virginia
Written by renowned author Gary Paulsen and his son in a series of back-and-forth exchanges, this book is about a father and a young teenage son. As with most similar relationships between a teen and a parent, Ben and his dad don't always see eye-to-eye, but one thing they definitely have in common is a love of dogs-- particularly border collies. So, when Ben's dad wakes him at 5:00 a.m. on the first day of summer vacation, Ben is only appeased when he finds that the reason is to get on the road...more
Paula
Teenager Ben, his dog Atticus and his dad set out on a road trip to pick up a rescue dog. Ben suspects it’s his dad’s way of spending some time with him and getting their relationship back on track. It’s been rocky of late because dad’s perceived lack of business acumen has left no money for Ben’s hockey camp. In retaliation, Ben invites his tough, older buddy Theo along for the ride. Of course, the truck breaks down, and the quartet is forced to persuade an old mechanic, Gus, to let them use an...more
Cara
Ben and his dad aren't exactly getting along. Ben worked hard all year to keep his grades up so that he could go to hockey camp, and then his dad tells him that he quit his job and hockey camp might be too expensive. Then his dad tells him that they are going on a road trip to rescue a puppy. Ben wants to save the puppy, especially when his dad tells him it will be his, but the thought of being stuck in the truck with his dad for a couple of days just doesn't sound that great. Ben has a brillian...more
Jackie
Ben and his dad set off on a road trip to rescue a border collie puppy. It will be Ben's dog and Atticus's best buddy (they hope), since Atticus has been their faithful four-legged friend for years. Along the way, Ben gets some upsetting news...his dad quit his job, started a business flipping houses, and there's no money to send him to hockey camp this year.

As they travel (too fast and get speeding tickets along the way) they unintentionally pick up a quirky set of passengers...Theo, a street-...more
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18
Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve...more
More about Gary Paulsen...
Hatchet (Brian's Saga, #1) Brian's Winter (Brian's Saga, #3) The River (Brian's Saga, #2) Brian's Return (Brian's Saga, #4) Brian's Hunt (Brian's Saga, #5)

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