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Best Foot Forward (Rules of the Road #2)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  2,056 Ratings  ·  220 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, 183 pages
Published October 5th 2006 by Perfection Learning (first published June 2nd 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Oct 29, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-buy, favorites
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
Dec 13, 2008 Ying rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
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
Jan 08, 2013 Steve Clark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 31, 2013 Eri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 21, 2017 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Registered on Bookcrossing:

Another great book by Joan Bauer. I love her teen books. It's left open ended so I wonder if there will be a sequel? Who knew the shoe business was so cut-throat?
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
Hailey Johnson
The book, Best Foot Forward, written by Joan Bauer, is a book about a girl named Jenna whose dad is an insane alcoholic. Jenna gets a job ant a shoe store and she also helps a boy named tanner recover from a past of a rough background such as her own. Jenna runs into many conflicts, some of them having to deal with he drunk father. the characters in this book are Jenna, Tanner, Yaley, Webster, Mrs. Gladstone, Elden, Murray, Faith, Opal, and Charlie. The main event in this book is when Jenna sta ...more
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
Sep 28, 2012 Lauren James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recent, mainstream, gr6-8
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
Dec 16, 2009 Tania rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, fiction
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
Kiirsi Hellewell
Aug 21, 2014 Kiirsi Hellewell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I read "Rules of the Road," but it wasn't hard to get into sequel. It's a fast read and though it doesn't have the amazing sparkle, wisdom and general awesomeness of "Hope Was Here" (which I just re-read yesterday), it still gives plenty of good feelings, strong heroines fighting against corruption, and teens learning to stand up and make a difference. Good book.
Amy (A Magical World of Words)
Much the same as the first one in terms of wit, humour, and awesome, deep, characters. It was hilarious. It was moving. It was brilliantly written. It was fun :)
The love interest for Jenna was a great and realistic addition, and overall I just loved this book. So much wisdom and good morals; it reinforced what I needed reinforced ;)
Sep 13, 2014 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rachel D
Jan 12, 2017 Rachel D rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't enjoy this book. I felt like there wasn't anything going own, it was mostly about selling the shoes and that was it. I expected that Jenna would fall in love with the bad boy Tanner but nothing happened. The only thing she did was taught him how to sell shoes. Then when they noticed the shoes changed and they were bad quality, I expected there to be a big mystery and they had to solve why the shoes had bad quality. They sorted had to solve it but it wasn't interesting. Since ther ...more
Rebekah Isert
Jun 17, 2017 Rebekah Isert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-420
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leah P.
Jun 06, 2017 Leah P. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I probably disliked this book as much as. I did because it was for mandatory reading. But it was boring as well.
Not as good as Rules of the Road, but still a pleasure to revisit the main characters.
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,
Danielle H
Mar 01, 2017 Danielle H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started off a little boring but as it went along it revealed a certain theme in the story between the main characters work life and her personal. She was forced to help an unsteady new employee and it makes her mind go crazy between that, dealing with her diminishing father and still keeping up with her job selling shoes and getting through school.
Oct 17, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The name of the book I read was Best Foot Forward, by Joan Bauer. This book is about Jenna, a seventeen year old girl working in a shoe store. She works at the shoe store to provide for her family, and nothing super exciting ever happened. Jenna still loved what she did not matter what. Until one day, a customer walked in the store, stole some shoes, and changed her life, personality, and perspective on people forever. In this book Jenna, the main character works at a shoe store, called Gladston
Mar 31, 2015 Ashanti rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Would you like to read a book that teaches you a little about shoes and explains this girl's life at the same time, in one story? Well if your interested read this book called "Best Foot Forward" by Joan Bauer. The genre of this story would be fiction because the things that's going on in Jenna's life can happen to someone else.

This story is about a girl, named Jenna who is living kind of harsh life as a teenager, but has good things that walk into her life. One of the good things is this boy n
Sep 14, 2010 Orchid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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
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
Oct 12, 2016 Mackenzie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another really inspiring, interesting, and really good book that I have just finished reading is "Best Foot Forward" by Joan Bauer. Jenna Boller, a teen girl who is going into high school, has an amazing job at a shoe store, a great best friend, named Opal, and a family that she's learning how to deal with. Then there's the not so good thing in jenna's life: she has a dad that doesn't live with her family anymore because he drives drunk and has been to jail numerous times. Jenna is doing okay, b ...more
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.
Cana Rensberger
Jan 02, 2010 Cana Rensberger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 28, 2012 7megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Amen kenea
Jun 30, 2010 Amen kenea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Rules of the Road (2 books)
  • Rules of the Road (Rules of the Road, #1)

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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. ” 26 likes
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