Rules of the Road | Teen Ink

Rules of the Road

October 18, 2007
By Anonymous

Have you ever felt as though you didn't matter or maybe that you weren't good enough? Have you ever felt as though you didn't belong? If you have, then you have at least one thing in common with Jenna Boller. So come along on this wild ride, and who knows? Maybe Jenna and you could learn some things about the rules of the road and the rules of life.

This book is without a doubt one of the best books I've ever read and not only because of the content. Joan Bauer wrote the story to where it is narrated by Jenna herself. This helps the reader understand what she is going through and comprehend her feelings and issues better. I believe that because of this, the story is easier to grasp; I just know that you will feel the same way.

The story begins in a Gladstone's shoe store in Chicago. Jenna Boller, a brave and headstrong young woman, is working hard selling shoes to her beloved customers. Unfortunately, her vivacious work is interrupted by her troubled father. He stumbles into the store then leads her to the subway tracks, a short distance away, to talk. Before, Jenna had always had to deal with her father's problems by herself. This time, however, her struggles do not go unnoticed.

Seeing that Jenna was struggling, Mrs. Gladstone, the owner of the prominent Gladstone's shoe stores, offers to hire Jenna as a chauffeur for the summer. Seeing the opportunity as a chance to “get away” from all of her problems for a while, Jenna agrees to it. It doesn't sound so difficult. I mean a teenage girl who has had her driver's license for no more than six months, driving a Cadillac with the CEO of Gladstone's Incorporated inside it. From Chicago to Dallas, Texas and all the places in-between safely; not so hard, right? Well hard or not, that's how it was for many days. There was Jenna, the teenage driver nervously in control of a monster on wheels, with Mrs. Gladstone as the back seat driver.

About seven hundred eighty miles and twenty setbacks later, Mrs. Gladstone and Jenna both reach Dallas. During the trip, Mrs. Gladstone and Jenna forge an unbreakable bond. Though the road was long and there were many obstacles in their way, Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone fought their way through to the eye of the storm together. They were able to set aside their differences and together accomplish something that was far more important than any meeting or any company.
The rest of the book is for you to read and enjoy. So follow Jenna as she embarks on this wonderful journey to find out more about life and who she really is. Jenna reveals, “I always thought I'd have a permanent broken part in me because of the problems with my dad. Now I see that it isn't the problems along the way that make us or break us. Its how we learn to stand and face them that makes the difference.” (Bauer Joan. Rules of the Road, 1998)

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