cover image Road Tripped

Road Tripped

Pete Hautman. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5344-0590-5

Stiggy, 17, has a lot of questions about why his girlfriend, Gaia, dumped him, and why his father committed suicide, and he’s not finding any answers in his Minnesota suburb. Wanting to think about “other things—or better yet, not think at all,” he impulsively embarks on a road trip in his father’s Mustang (which he isn’t supposed to drive), carrying little more than $407 in cash and a Visa card stolen from his mother. He has no idea where he’s going or how long he’ll be gone, but he’s ready to explore new territory as he heads through the Midwest. This story, enlivened by witty dialogue and offbeat characters, contains flashbacks set against Stiggy’s often hilarious, sometimes profound encounters with strangers. Hautman paints a true-to-life portrait of a bitter, cynical teen who undergoes a gradual transformation as he makes discoveries about Gaia, his father, and himself. Stiggy’s many mishaps (being left carless after falling for a lie, getting cornered into buying meth supplies) provide comic relief, while his epiphanies offer food for thought. Ages 12–up. [em](May) [/em]