Teen Book Review of a Interesting Read for Teens

Teen Book

"The Last Chance Texaco"

by Brent Hartinger

Review by Laura Ramirez

"The Last Chance Texaco" is an intriguing teen book that speaks the language of adolescent subculture. At the novel's open, Lucy Pitt, a fifteen-year old foster kid arrives at Kindle Home—a "last chance" group home for troubled kids. Lucy must use this opportunity to turn her life around or she will be sent away to "Rabbit Island"—a high security juvenile detention facility. A three-strikes-and-you're-out policy threatens Lucy like an ominous sign that points toward her future.

Although Lucy is all attitude, teens will identify with her streetwise sensibility. At age eight, her parents died in an auto accident. Since then, she has endured a series of foster care and group homes, each resulting in her being passed from one home to the next. This experience has taught her that adults cannot be trusted. Of course, Lucy's expectations help this along. During her first few days at Kindle Home, she is surprised to discover that the counselors (in particular, one named Leon) really seem to care about the kids. Lucy has finally found a place she wants to call home.

Lucy's dreams are dashed by trouble at home and school. First, she has a conflict with Joy—a bully no one, except Lucy, dares to challenge. When she gets even with Joy, the tension grows. Meanwhile at school, Lucy gets in trouble for decking a guy who taunted her for being a "groupie."

At home, Joy attempts to intimidate Lucy directly and then indirectly by reducing Lucy's roommate to tears. When this fails to provoke Lucy to attack, Joy plants drugs in Lucy's room. Lucy's been in trouble for drugs before and now although Leon believes Lucy's claims that someone set her up, the other counselors aren't buying it. Now, Lucy has two strikes against her.

Lucy's situation grows even more tenuous when she is accused of setting fire to parked cars in the Kindle Group Home neighborhood. With a transfer to "Rabbit Island" appearing imminent, Lucy dares to sneak out of Kindle Home—an offense that could result in her "third strike out"—and makes a courageous attempt to bring the perpetrator to justice.

Teen Book: The Last Chance Texaco by Brent Hartinger

Rating: Excellent

Age Range: Grade 7-10

Comments: Although there is some language, it is appropriate within the context of the story. Teens will love the forward-moving action and surprise twist at the end.

Price: To buy this book for $11.19 (30% OFF the list price), click on the link below.

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