Parents' Guide to

Car Trouble

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Duff finds trouble while driving cross country.

Car Trouble Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Good for ages 10 and up

It is a good book. Has some drinking/drugs at a part in story when they stop at a bikers bar for something to eat but only a couple of pages. No real kissing or seual things except a kiss on the cheek. Other than that it was a very good book and i enjoyed reading it!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (5 ):

While Duff's misadventures on his quixotic cross-country journey are entertaining, it is Jeanne DuPrau's ability to crawl inside his head that lifts this above the standard road-trip story. Descriptions of his Desperate Octopus Mind, his way of translating his life into computer code, his excitement over new ideas, and his self-recriminating interior monologues all ring true and will cause a flash of recognition in many readers. DuPrau manages what few authors do: integrating technology seamlessly into the story without showing off or getting it just slightly wrong.

The story, like many road movies, is humorous, improbable, and quirky. None of the characters are quite what they seem: the bad guys not really bad, the good guys not completely good, and no one seems securely comfortable in his or her life or skin. As a nice finishing touch, Duff learns that ultimate lesson that goes with the transition from teen to adult -- that his parents aren't quite as stupid as he thought they were.

Book Details

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