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Road Trip

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  986 Ratings  ·  236 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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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
Dec 26, 2012 Gigi rated it liked it
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.
Susan Walters
Dec 02, 2015 Susan Walters rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book! Charming, delightful, and sweet. Technicalities didn't matter here for me; despite some predictability, it was like an enchanting fairy tale, a breath of fresh air, a moment of light and hope that made me smile inside. It reminded me of two other books that I also adore for similar reasons. Seedfolks, by Paul Fleischman, and The Van Gogh Cafe, by Cynthia Rylant. All three titles, while distinct in presentation, share a common theme of community, working through, and b ...more
Apr 29, 2013 Margaret rated it really liked it
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!
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
Nov 09, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
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
Mar 31, 2013 Nicole rated it liked it
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
Ann Haefele
Aug 04, 2013 Ann Haefele rated it really liked it
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
Ivy Griffiths
Feb 17, 2016 Ivy Griffiths rated it really liked it
This book is about a road trip that starts out simple enough, but ends up spiraling out into "wacky" and "weird" and all that lies in-between. I liked this book. It was an interesting and quick read, but wasn't hard to understand or thoroughly involved or deep. I liked it mostly for its simplicity and interesting storyline. I would recommend this book to everyone 8 and up, as it is a simple and quick read.
Deb Tyo
Feb 28, 2013 Deb Tyo rated it liked it
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
Apr 10, 2013 Angie rated it really liked it
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
Being such a small book (114 pages), I was really surprised how good it was. The story starts out with 14-year-old Ben, his Dad, and their dog Atticus setting off for a road trip to adopt a rescued Border Collie puppy. The story is told from two points of view; Ben's, and the dog Atticus'. It is not too often that you get to read a story partially from a dog's point of view, not only was it humorous, but actually added to the story itself more than I would have thought (and really made me want t ...more
Apr 23, 2015 Trish rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals, middle-grade
Road Trip - Review
Dogs never lie or cheat, and their default setting is love. Some may seem grumpy, but all dogs have honor, humor, and dignity, and ifyou're really lucky and you pay attention, they will bring out those same characteristics in you. - Auhtor's Note

The race was the most fun I've had all day. We should have run, of course, and not driven, but my boss doesn't run. Can't blame him;only two legs. - Atticus

Good thing that Gus is helping Theo and Mia. Someone's got to keep them straigh
May 09, 2013 Gladys rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 01, 2014 Tahleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 11, 2015 Jhoana rated it liked it
I thought this book was okay. I really liked the relationship between the dad and Ben
Mary Lee
Feb 17, 2013 Mary Lee rated it liked it
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.
Feb 05, 2014 Helen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014waw-options
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
Kelly Thielen
Ben’s dad wakes him early one morning to go on a mission to rescue a border collie, he's confused. When they start off, and he tells Ben that he’s quit his job to flip houses and the lack of steady income might mean that they can’t send him to hockey camp after all, he’s downright mad. Ben insists on bringing his older friend Theo and dog Atticus just to bug his dad. As the trip goes on, one thing after another goes wrong. Their car breaks down, so they borrow a bus and take its mechanic Gus and ...more
Dec 04, 2014 Steph rated it it was ok
I like two things:
1) A father and son wrote this together.
2) The dog's point of view is a cute idea.

Other than that, ugh. Couldn't wait for it to be over.
Mar 15, 2014 Debra rated it really liked it
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
May 06, 2015 Jane rated it liked it
I don't think this is a book that can be disliked--it's a heartwarming story that should resonate with any kid whose family life is pretty good but not perfect. With a little bit of extra work on the authors' and editor's part, it could have been a much smoother, more meaningful read. As it stands now, the reader can see the rough edges from the book having had two authors--neither of whom seems to have taken responsibility for more than an outline of the family dispute that is the trigger for t ...more
Jun 29, 2016 Sandra rated it it was amazing
A road trip to rescue a homeless border collie becomes a real adventure in this funny short, simple story about a family and friendship.

Dad needs to break it to Ben that he cannot afford to send him to hockey camp this year. He thought that adopting a dog of his very own might lighten the blow for Ben. However, problems along the way result in hidden surprises and lasting friendships. It is true that “ everything works out.”

Paulsen's stories are always simple and filled with likable characters,
I really enjoyed reading this book! Funny! Heartwarming! Highly recommended for older juveniles and for YA.
Dec 31, 2014 Dawn rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile, 2014, audio-book
A teenager, his dad, and their dog head out on a road trip to save a border collie whose time is running out. An early conflict pits the father and son against each other. They ease this awkwardness by picking up three other people to share the journey, and they end up in some unexpected situations. Like all books about roadtrips, each person learns a little more about themselves along the way.

It was underwhelming. I'm always on the lookout for good j fic for boys, but I really didn't like this
Jul 02, 2014 Katie rated it really liked it
Fun read! Laughed out loud! I've missed Gary Paulsen!
Sep 01, 2014 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have only read one other Gary Paulsen book. That was "Hatchet", this book is very different. It is fun, entertaining, silly and quick. I really liked the chapters that were written in the voice of Atticus, their dog. But you probably have to love, at least like doges, to appreciate these chapters. I wasn't too sure how a book written by a Father and Son, writing different parts of the book would turn out. it was better than I thought it would be. My 13 year old son really liked this book as we ...more
Stephanie Pieck
Jul 27, 2016 Stephanie Pieck rated it liked it
Shelves: braille
This was a reckless, rambunctious, riotous frolic of a book, short enough to devour in almost a single sitting. It starts when 14-year-old Ben and his father set out on a spur-of-the-moment trip to rescue a border collie puppy. As the morning progresses, more and more unlikely characters join the crew: Ben's "hoodlum" study partner Theo; Gus, a crotchety mechanic (who provides the vehicle big enough for the whole gang in a high-performance school bus); and Mia, a New Agey, aura-reading diner wai ...more
Amy Harris
Dec 09, 2014 Amy Harris rated it it was ok
Shelves: libs-642
Paulsen, G. & Paulsen, J. (2013). Road Trip. New York: Yearling.

Publishers Weekly starred review 2012 (Reviewed prior to release date.)

Fiction: Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Are we there yet? On a perfectly weird day Ben, his dog, Atticus, and his dad take a road trip to rescue a dog. Ben and his dad have an argument which plays out over the course of the book. Early on, their car breaks down, so they end up driving a school bus instead and one by one they gather a motley crew of traveling
Nov 12, 2014 Amy rated it it was ok
Shelves: libs-642
Paulsen, G. & Paulsen, J. (2013). Road Trip. New York: Yearling.

Publishers Weekly starred review 2012 (Reviewed prior to release date.)

Fiction: Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Are we there yet? On a perfectly weird day Ben, his dog, Atticus, and his dad take a road trip to rescue a dog. Ben and his dad have an argument which plays out over the course of the book. Early on, their car breaks down, so they end up driving a school bus instead and one by one they gather a motley crew of traveling
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