95 pages 3 hours read

Joan Bauer

Rules of the Road

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1998

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Rules of the Road

  • Genre: Fiction; young adult contemporary
  • Originally Published: 1998
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 850L; grades 7-10
  • Structure/Length: 28 chapters; approx. 224 pages
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Sixteen-year-old Jenna Boller lacks self-confidence in high school but shines in her job in a shoe store. When the store’s owner takes her on an extended business trip, Jenna’s experiences give her the confidence to stand up to her father’s behavior due to alcohol use disorder.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Alcoholism; drunk driving leading to fatal car accident; Alzheimer’s disease; discussion of body image

Joan Bauer, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1951 in Illinois; as a child, wrote stories and poems in a diary; worked in sales and advertising for the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets; was inspired to write her first book with a teenage protagonist, Squashed, while recovering from a car accident; considers humor to be essential in her writing and in life; writes screenplays and songs in addition to novels; lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • Other Works: Squashed (1992); Thwonk (1995); Hope Was Here (2000); Stand Tall (2002); Peeled (2008); Tell Me (2014); Raising Lumie (2020)
  • Awards: Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature (1998); Golden Kite Award for Fiction (1999)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit: