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Going Places

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,434 ratings  ·  203 reviews
A go-cart contest inspires imagination to take flight in this picture book for creators of all ages, with art from New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds.

It's time for this year's Going Places contest! Finally. Time to build a go-cart, race it—and win. Each kid grabs an identical kit, and scrambles to build.

Everyone but Maya. She sure doesn't seem to be i
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  1,434 ratings  ·  203 reviews

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Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
Recommended to Carmen by: Book Store
He peered over the fence.
"Hey, Maya, you haven't even started yet?"
Maya didn't respond. She was so intent on watching the bird in front of her, and quickly sketching it, that she didn't even notice Rafael.

A boy with no imagination and a girl with a great imagination team up when the entire class gets the same kit to make go-carts for the annual go-cart race.

Notable things:
The two main characters are non-white.

Good illustrations.

Good message about the value of imagination and working together.
Rafael was excited that the time had finally come to enter the Going Places Contest and take home the kit. He went home, opened the box, followed the instructions, and built his own go-cart. Yet, he was curious about Maya, his neighbor and classmate, and the progress she was making with her kit. Maya, deep in thought while sketching a bird, had bigger aspirations. Inspired by a bird in flight, she created a contraption in which wings were attached to her arms and two-wheeled pedaling boards were ...more
Jennifer Heise
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beekman
My five year old demanded "read it again!" Which is a pretty good recommendation to me!
The book models creativity, strong creative female character(s), building stuff, following and going beyond directions, strong non-white characters, and respectful treatment of others' work. Plus the illustrations are charming. A keeper, especially for potentially frustrated would-be builders.
Jessalyn King
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Peter Reynolds is a genius. His pictures just work so well and illustrate so much life and bring so much more to the story. I love his work. And I thought it was really cute that he worked with his brother on this one.
Kate Tilton
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Going Places is a story for the creative at heart. This picture book encourages out-of-the-box thinking, the thinking that leads to the greatest inventions and adventures.

The full review can be found at
Linda Gill
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Each year, the school class gets to build go-carts to race one another. They are given kits with detailed instructions as well as all of the necessary materials. Rafael follows the directions, working away to build his go-cart. His next door neighbor, Maya, is more preoccupied with nature and creativity. When she finally gets around to opening her box of go-cart materials, she sees another design amidst the pieces, blueprints, and directions. She creates her own go-cart, certainly not like the r ...more
Madeline Feldman
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Going Places is an artistically beautiful story with an even better message; it is always okay to be yourself and sometimes the path that everyone else is taking isn’t the only one! The story beings in a classroom with the Going Places contest looming on the near horizon and everyone is very excited, most of all Rafael. Rafael loves the contest and can hardly wait to get his hands on his go-kart kit. He is determined to win the race this year! He rushes home after school to begin building and fo ...more
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
It is once again time for the annual Going Places contest. The contest in which all the kids build a go-cart using identical go-cart kits. However, Maya's go-cart doesn't look the same as everyone else's. Realizing that there may be more than one way to build a go-cart Rafael and Maya team up to make a go-cart that is a little outside the box.

I think it is extremely important to teach young people that there is not always one way of doing things. Sure, there are rules, but even then there is roo
There are lots of things to love about this new book by Peter H. Reynolds and his brother, Paul A. Reynolds. One of them is the dedication, to their 10th grade social studies teacher, who dared everyone to be original! The story tells about the excitement of the Go-Kart kits each given to a class member to prepare for the coming race. Rafael is so excited, he loves following directions and building things. After finishing, he checks on his neighbor, Maya’s progress and finds that she has a few n ...more
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really love the message of this story. Every child has something different to offer the world and is allowed to be unique in their own way. I always love Reynolds' illustrations, and I especially loved the last page in this book. While not believable at all, I love that this book allows kids to dream. ...more
Kelly Carey
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Who ever raised the Reynold's boys did a phenomenal job! Every book by Peter Reynolds is an absolute winner and this collaboration with his brother Paul is fantastic. A great book about forging your own path and stepping outside of the boxes that we seem to keep drawing for ourselves and our kids. This book would make a great graduation present! ...more
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I will likely read this to students at some point during our first few classes together in the fall. It gives a great example of creativity with an added bonus of showing effective collaboration. The author's Dot book has been so over-used in our district that students will definitely be familiar with his work. ...more
Kellee Moye
Review at:

Peter Reynolds has a way of making his readers feel empowered. When you finish his books, you want to go DO something. This book is no different. Going Places promotes thinking outside of the box and collaborating.
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rafael follows the instructions on how to build a go-cart for a class project but his friend Maya has other ideas. A lovely picture book about NOT coloring in the lines, about innovation, and possibility.

Would be a great story for a STEAM related storytime.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classroom-reads
I absolutely loved this story! This would make a great read aloud about following your dreams and thinking outside the box! A great 7 habits book as well, I can see reading this when teaching think win win, seek first to understand then to be understood and synergize!
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Must read book! I can't wait to share with my gifted students who need to learn it's okay to not always follow the directions! ...more
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ever encouraging Peter Reynolds, joined by the often silent Paul. Just a beautiful sentiment.
Ah, individuality, going against the it!
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Love love love love love. Perfect for our Summer Reading Club this year - Journeys!
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
Rafael and Maya beat out all competition with their creative interpretation of a go-cart.
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous book and great message. Younger kids will enjoy it, and adults, especially educators, will understand the message about attempts to standardize education.
Strait Family
Oh the power of imagination and thinking out of the box!
Michelle Simpson
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I love this book and the message that it sends! Be original! Think outside the box. Be yourself. Be brave!
Theme: individuality, creativity
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Lovely Reynolds illustrations. Great message about creativity and individuality.
Sandy Davis
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Peter Reynolds has done it again. Encourages individualism and dare to dream, dare to be different...
Rafael and Maya teach us that you can be creative and think outside of the box while still following specified contest directions. These two characters enter into a go-cart racing contest individually but quickly realize that their best chance at winning the contest is by working together. When Rafael, a proactive rule follower, and Maya, a careful and detailed thinker, put their heads together, they come up with an idea that will leave the other fellow contestants in amazement.
Steve Holden
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful journey for the creative mind and heart. Peter Reynolds is a powerhouse when it comes to inspiring, beautiful picture books. This one is no exception. It can be used in so many ways for so many subjects/discussions. I think I'll shelve this and share it for when we begin our STEM work later in the year. Regardless, this is fantastic and should be checked out! ...more
sam howie
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sarah Krajewski
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We love this book by the Reynolds brothers!
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Peter Hamilton Reynolds is an author and illustrator of children's books and is the co-Founder and CEO of educational media company FableVision. ...more

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