The Three-Day Traffic Jam

John Keefauver, Author Simon & Schuster $13 (89p) ISBN 978-0-671-75599-7
The Los Angeles traffic jam described in this farcical novel is shorter than the one in 1999 that ``lasted eleven months and was two hundred miles long and eighty miles wide.'' But it seems like an eternity to 11-year-old Henry and his friend TJ, who not only get stuck in the middle of this melee, they're actually responsible for it. Jealous of the attention his father pays to his car, Henry decides to take the vehicle for a spin. When TJ goads Henry into driving on the freeway, a madcap ride ensues, and their car ends up heading against the traffic, causing countless crashes and--eventually--the gargantuan gridlock. Though this reckless drive seems a rather warped premise for middle-grade fiction, at least this part of the story moves along at as swift a pace as the frenzied freeway traffic. The remaining chapters, however, in which the two kids try to escape from the traffic jam, are relatively slow going. Yet youngsters will be regaled by the details of Keefauver's creative, if sardonic, vision of a frighteningly near future. Ages 9-13. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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