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Best Foot Forward (Rules of the Road #2)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,674 ratings  ·  187 reviews
The Newbery Honor author pens this companion to her New York Times bestseller, Rules of the Road. Here she tells a funny and poignant story about honesty, self-esteem, the demands of loyalty, and the redemptive power of sole.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 2nd 2005 by Putnam Juvenile
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Community Reviews

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Hooooh, gosh. This is a veeeery tough book to rate. I almost gave it 5 stars--but there was one major problem (I say problem, more like...distraction).

Tanner, throughout the first part of the book, is constantly accosted by girlfriends--constantly. Jenna doesn't really get out much. The most romantic she gets is holding a guy's foot to measure it.

Given those two, guess who I thought would end up together?

And guess. Who. Didn't.

Yep, that's my one complaint with this book, right there. Which shou
Until I read a review for Best Foot Forward, I never realized it was a sequel. However, that didn't stop me from enjoying this book greatly. There were so many dynamic and head spinning parts in this story outfitted with a wrenching and writhing plotline that went very well with the dramatic events that continued to happen, especially towards the end of the story. Although a quick read with only 192 pages, this was a refreshing and exciting read. Would definitely reccommend.
Steve Clark
I somehow missed the fact that this was a sequel to another book ("Rules of the Road"). I still found it quite enjoyable, and will look for the first book to read as a "pre-quel". Some of the characters and sidelines aren't developed fully, and Jenna's struggle with her (absentee) alcoholic father seem almost tacked on. That doesn't stop the core of the story from being interesting, though, as she works on discovering herself happily fulfilled in her role in the shoe business. This is Bauer's s ...more
I only gave this 3-stars because I thought it felt rushed. I felt Jenna, such a mature and astute observer did not seem--despite saying so--as attached to any of the other characters. Even Tanner, about whom she had doubts. Even Mrs. Gladstone.
It's as if she'd aged 10 years...
Nevertheless, Joan Bauer's writing is sharp and at times I felt both touched and blown away by her well-drawn characters. It's an okay sequel to "Rules of the Road," but I honestly didn't expect a sequel. There's something
Linda Lipko
This is an author who handles complex subjects in a manner that doesn't over abuse feelings. She magically weaves the story line and balances humor and angst with the end result of hope.

Jenna Boller is the oldest child. She has a loving younger sister and very stable mother. Sadly though, her father is a knock down drag out alcoholic.

Finding a job selling shoes for Gladstone Shoe company enables her to learn valuable lessons. Bauer knows that people come into our lives when we most need them and
Kat (idangerous)
Story takes place in a shoe store, I've never thought of this being a book setting but I rolled with it. Wow...I just want to say that first up. Wow. The setting is great and the characters are very interesting! I haven't read the first book to this yet Rules of the Road but this one is very good! Jenna has been with shoe company for a couple of years and a boy comes in a steals a pair of shoes. This is how it starts off, I'm thinking okay...what the heck? Anyway Tanner (shoe thief) comes back a ...more
Lauren James
While the climax here is a little rushed, that's a small caveat to Bauer's excellent follow-up to the eminently likeable Rules of the Road. Jenna continues to be a sensible and wry narrator, and I adore how her love of shoes is connected--unusually for a YA narrator!--to selling them rather than buying them. Her concern for sturdiness, quality, and personal appeal carries through the book itself as she deals with the rehabilitation of a charming parolee Gladstone's hires and the continued slimy ...more
I read this book completely by accident because of a mixed up entry in Goodreads (I thought I was getting a new book by one of my favorite authors, Jeanne Ray). Turns out, Jeanne Ray never wrote a book by this title--Joan Bauer did. And I have no regrets. It's a charming story I hope my daughters will read when they're 13-14 years old. Full of good solid morality and work ethic, written from a teenage girl's perspective with the didactics nicely packaged in a gel coating so it doesn't stick in y ...more
This is the sequel to Rules on the Road. In this book, we follow along Jenna Boller's story after her life-altering experiences over that road trip. She continues on working at Gladstone Shoes, have some fun with her best friend, and continue to be there for her sister and mom. Gladstone Shoes are facing some challenging times as they enter a business relationship with another shoe company.

In this story, we learned a lot about corporations, business dealings and sweatshops. I love Mrs. Gladston
The novel Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer was definitely not on my list of favorite reads. The characters were generic and boring, the plot was very predictable, and the theme throughout the book did not keep my interest. Maybe I’m just picky when it comes to my taste in books, but Joan Bauer did not work her magic with this novel, unlike her other books in the past.

Jenna Boiler basically has a stress-filled life. She lives in a small town and has a job that she really enjoys at Gladstone Shoes,
This book is the sequel to Joan Bauer’s other book called Rules of the Road. [You can read my review on that book here.:] Technically it is the sequel but I think you could read this book alone without having read the first book. This book kind of recaps what the first book is about and goes more into the struggle between Gladstone Shoe Stores and the company being bought out and ruined by Mrs. Gladstone’s son.

Jenna is again struggling to make her life less hectic, in the first book she was deal
By now, I've read many of Joan Bauer's books, but I will always have a soft spot for my first encounter with her novels, Rules of the Road. It isn't my favorite nor my least favorite, but there's always something special about the first book you read of an author you like. That being said, I didn't expect to like Best Foot Forward that much.

In reality, I enjoyed Best Foot Forward more than Rules of the Road. For starters, there was more going on plot-wise. Corporate scandals, a new employee/fo
4.5 So...I accidentally read this one before I read the first one, Rules of the Road. It still made sense, there were just a few key details missing. However, I really enjoyed it and grew to care about the characters even though I hadn't met them before. Jenna is a shoe saleswoman at Gladstone Shoes, and it is her life. She enjoys selling shoes because she knows the rules and guidelines as opposed to the trouble she has when she deals with her alcoholic father. The story continues the first, whi ...more
Cana Rensberger
She did it again! Joan Bauer hooked me on yet another novel about selling shoes! I previously read Rules of the Road where we were introduced to Jenna Boller. In Best Foot Forward we again root for Jenna of Gladstone Shoes. I even *ahem* took this book to church to read between Sunday School and the church service. It was that good.

Mrs. Gladstone puts Jenna in charge of Tanner, a boy Jenna's age, after he tries to steal some shoes from them. Jenna's not sure letting him work for the company is t
This sequel to Rules of the Road is written so that you could read it on its own. In fact, I had no idea it was part of a series until I found it on Goodreads.

Jenna Boller, who every day comes from a dysfunctional family goes straight to Gladstone Shoes, run by a 73 year old named, well, Mrs. Gladstone.

The book is written in a lighthearted, entertaining and funny way. If you think about it, the book is about a girl who works in a shoe store, where all the employees are as serious and educated w
This book. This book. This book. Oh my goddd. I am so addicted to Joan Bauer I like legit love her writing its perfect for us teen girls. I just love realistic fiction, which is what this is. In addition, this book is a sequel. And it was just as good, if not better, then the first one!!!! Which is like not common, just saying. It's about this girl Jenna that works for Gladstones shoes company, and the first book follows her driving her boss Ms. Gladstone to this meeting, where her son announces ...more
Becky B
Jenna is still shoe sales woman extraordinaire, but as the summer is drawing to a close she faces some new challenges. First off, there's Tanner, Mrs Gladstone's most recent hire, who stumbled into the job after trying to steal from the store. Mrs Gladstone wants to show him how to use his talents to make a positive impact on the world, but Jenna isn't sure if Tanner will join them or end up a lost cause. She's also still dealing with the issues her alcoholic father left her with, but Al-Anon me ...more
Andrew P
After reading Rules of the Road, I figured I should probably read Best Foot Forward. Overall, I'm good with it, but it wasn't exactly the best sequel.

While Rules of the Road had multiple sub-plots to the story, it still had the overarching plot of the road trip with Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone.

Best Foot Forward seems to have those multiple sub-plots, but I'm finding it hard to grasp at an overarching plot that ties all those sub-plots together. The story works because the books' happenings all have
Amen kenea
16-year-old Jenna Boller is gaga for the shoe business — especially as it's run by her employer and role model Madeline Gladstone, matriarch of Gladstone Shoes. In this fittingly kicky companion to Rules of the Road, readers accompany Jenna on a personal and professional journey that leaves her standing taller than ever in her Rolling Walkers. The road to a job well done is littered with detours, however. Bauer takes Jenna emotionally deeper here, as the heroine struggles in her home life — she ...more
When I first saw Best Foot Forward at the used bookstore, I admit that I had mixed feelings. Especially when I found out that it was a companion to Rules of the Road which just so happens to one of my most beloved books. But on the other hand I was excited to get a chance to reconnect and hear more about Jenna, Mrs. Gladstone and the rest of the characters.

I am happy to let you know that Best Foot Forward was just as good as I hoped it would be and will definitely be making my must re-read list
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for

She did it again! Joan Bauer hooked me on yet another novel about selling shoes!

I had previously read RULES OF THE ROAD, where we were introduced to Jenna Boller. In BEST FOOT FORWARD we again root for Jenna of Gladstone Shoes. I even *ahem* took this book to church to read between Sunday School and the church service. It was that good.

Mrs. Gladstone puts Jenna in charge of Tanner, a boy Jenna's age, after he tries to steal some shoes from them.
Jenna Boller is just starting to untie the knots in her life and is ready to tackle the year with the job she loves and a family that is healing. Then tanner Cobb comes into her life and job with a shady past and a questionable future. Jenna wonders why her reluctant boss Ms. Gladstone hired him in the first place. he stole from the store, even though it was for his hardworking grandmother. To Jenna stealing was about as low as you could go besides her alcoholic father. As she tries to help Ms. ...more
The book I read was Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer. This book is about a shoe store worker, Jenna, who has had a rough life with her family and how working at a place like a shoe store can really help you out. For example, when Tanner came to work at the shoe store he was a robber but then he learned how bad it is to steal but also how his skills from stealing could help him in the business world. I thought this book was just okay because it was so much business and how to handle a company that ...more
Diah Ayu
buku ini simple sekalii.
sebenarnya buku ini merupakan sekuel, tp untungnya masih tetep nyambung meskipun gak pernah baca buku sebelumnya.

ini adalah buku berbahasa inggris pertama (bukan terjemahan) yg kubaca samapai habis. ternyata emang ya, kalo baca buku yg versi aslinya itu rasanya beda. karena sebagus-bagusnya terjemahan, pastilah ada yg "ketinggalan". heum, apa ya namanya? "sense" atau "tones"? --"

buku ini menceritakan seputar karakter Jenna yg bekerja di toko sepatu dan hidupnya yg someho
Amanda Gibson
This book is a continuation from Rules of the Road. Jenna had just return from her summer trip on the road and is so excited to continue her success as a shoe salesman. She is also finally learning how to deal with her home life and is gaining great friends. However, she winds up meeting a guy who is headed down the wrong path. Even though he is not book smart he is very much street smart and helps Jenna learn many new advances toward her selling techniques. This book demonstrate a lot of busine ...more
I read this book because I had read the first book in this series (Rules of the Road) and fell in love with it. I knew that sequels weren't as good as the first book in the first place but I still decided to read this. This book is nowhere near as good as the first one. There is just no story line and things just keep changing every second. In this book, Jenna and Mrs.Gladstone are back in Chicago and done going on 2 month road trips! The only problem is, everything at Gladstone's Shoe Stores a ...more
Just like the first book about Jenna, this one focuses on her job and the importance of treating people well. Because do that, most of the character work is spent on the people in the store and not so much on her other relationships, not even the budding romance. But Jenna is a bit of a workaholic, something that I don't think most teen lit explores.

What can I say? I relate to Jenna. And I liked the work storyline.
Everything positive that I feel about this book (basically everything I feel about this book), can probably be found in the other reviews of her books that I've written. Joan Bauer has an amazing consistency in the beauty and ambiance of her books. But even though they all express the same approach to life and its problems, they don't get stale; each story is different and appealing in its own way, and I find each one to be just as refreshing as the rest. Her ability to do this makes her stories ...more
Stephanie Kenner
This book continues the story of Jenna as she starts school again after her adventure during the summer on a drive to Texas with Mrs. Gladstone. She has now been made Mrs. Gladstone's personal assistant, and uncovers a secret in the company that could ruin them. Along with that, Mrs. Gladstone hires a delinquent boy who is caught trying to steal from the store and puts Jenna in charge of teaching him the ropes. She struggles to deal with the crumbling of the company she loves while learning how ...more
Companion novel to Rules of the Road

I didn't like it as well as the first book, however if you are looking for a book for middle-school age girls, this has a strong female protagonist and deals with topics such as the effects of alcoholism on a family, resilience, business ethics, keeping promises, mercy and forgiveness. Several noteworthy one-liners and humor. Quick, easy read.
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July 12, 1951 - I was born at eleven A.M., a most reasonable time, my mother often said, and when the nurse put me in my mother's arms for the first time I had both a nasty case of the hiccups and no discernible forehead (it's since grown in). I've always believed in comic entrances.

As I grew up in River Forest, Illinois, in the 1950's, I seem to remember a
More about Joan Bauer...

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“I hope you'll have the kind of life where what you stand for is so important that it makes some people outright hostile. You won't know how strong your beliefs really are until you have to defend them.” 35 likes
“The problem with the heart is how it can have so many opposite feelings coursing through it all at the same time. It's really an inconsistent thing- appreciating something one minute and hating it the next. ” 24 likes
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