The Car

ISBN: 0152058273
ISBN 13: 9780152058272
By: Gary Paulsen

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Adventure Childrens Books Cool Currently Reading Favorites Fiction Gary Paulsen To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

Neglected by his parents, fourteen-year-old Terry Anders is used to taking care of things on his own. He even manages to assemble a car kit by himself. When the car is finished, Terry sets off from Cleveland to Portland in search of an uncle he barely remembers. Along the way, he is joined by a wise Vietnam vet who turns his journey into an adventure in learning.     Each book includes a reader's guide.  

Reader's Thoughts

Ceecee

I thought I could go for a good road trip story, but this one just didn't do the trick. I've watched a crazy road trip movie, Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road, with the charming and one of my favorites, James Marsden, and I really liked that.The Car really is about a car. The first third of the book I think involved assembling Terry's kit car and then Terry learning how to drive it. Then he meets two Vietnam war veterans and they go "trucking". It's supposed to be some coming-of-age/ life-changing story, but I didn't really learn much or see anything special with it. I like my descriptions poetic, and emotions palpable. This was just ... okay.I've got to break this reading slump soon because all I seem to be reading these days are 2-star books. :/

Carver H

This quarter I read “The Car” by Gary Paulsen. First off I’d like to say that “The Car” is an amazing young adult book, the best book I have ever read. The book is full of adventure and thrilling moments. This book kept me turning the pages. There was never a point in this book where it was boring and made me want to stop reading. The main character, Terry, was 14 and was used to taking care of himself. He was neglected by both of this parents and decided to build a kit car. He then set off to live with his uncle in Portland, Oregon from his house in Cleveland, Ohio. along the way he picked up a homeless man named Waylon and later a man named Wayne. They took Terry to see the country, explore, what they call trecking. Along the way Waylon and Wayne became his friends and traveled with them across the country.The genre of this novel is young-adult fiction because it has material in it that would be inappropriate to younger readers. It is fiction because this didn't really happen and probably won’t. The big picture of this novel is about exploring and not having a destination but just going anywhere and learning as much as you can.I loved this book and recommend this book to anyone who like cars, a good story, and an adventure. I also recommend the author, Gary Paulsen, a great young adult literature writer who has lots of great books for young adults. “The Car” has been my favorite book and will continue reading Gary Paulsen’s collection.

Haley Grizzell

Besides evoking a type of independence and tough-mindedness that will appeal to teens, this provocative novel introduces and explores some interesting philosophies of life while stressing the value of learning from experience. I took one star off for the tedious description of how the car was put together and every stupid sandwich Terry ate while making it. I also took off a star for the awkward ending. It seemed like Gary Paulsen ran out of ideas, and just ended the story the quickest way he could. Overall, the book was okay and provided interesting experiences about the Vietnam War and trucking, both areas not typically explored by me.

Matthew Tyler

The Car by Gary Paulsen is about a fourteen year old boy named Terry Anders who is from Cleveland, Ohio. He had been living there by himself since his parents had a left him. Then he decided to build the kit car his father had and it was called a Blakely Bearcat. After he built it, he decided to head west to Portland, Oregon to see his uncle. Along the way there he picked up two Vietnam war veterans named Waylon and Wayne. He met Waylon one night when it was raining and Waylon suggested to go see his friend Wayne and when they found Wayne, he went along with them. They helped Terry travel west and they helped him learned along the way. They took him to see many different things in America to help him learn more about people, more about America, and ultimately more about himself.

Bailey

While being neglected by his parents, 14 year old Terry Anders has to take care of things by himself without any help. He manages to assemble his fathers abandoned Blakey Bearcat kit car in the garage of his home. He leaves his hometown, Cleveland Ohio and takes the car in a tour across country to find an uncle that he hardly remembers. Along the way, meets up with two Vietnam vets; Waylon and Wayne. They eventually turn his adventure into a fun filled learning experience. I really enjoyed reading The Car because I really connected to the book and to the main character, Terry. He is a 14 year old boy that loves cars and working on them. Right in the beginning, I knew I was going to live this book. I thought that is was sad that his parents never wanted him and he was never treated right by them since the beginning. He seemed to be able to take care of himself very well though. He always wanted to pay for his own gas when Waylon offered to and always wanted to pay for his own meals. Overall, I thought that the book was great and I gave 5 of 5 stars. I really connected to is well and enjoyed it from the very beginning of the book. I definitely suggest that anybody should read it. It’s a great book for everybody.

Michelle A

I approached this book with a thirst for road-trip-like novels, and for some years, this one had been sitting on my bookshelf, just waiting to happen. The premise seemed promising, a simple coming-of-age novel where boy, Terry, meets inspiring father-figure, Waylon, after being ditched by neglecting parents. And after hearing so many wonderful things about Gary Paulsen, I dove right into it.Sad to say thought, the moment I finished the book I merely closed it, rolled over and fell asleep feeling absolutely nothing except disappointment.First things first: as usual with teenage novels, the protagonist seems like your run-of-the-mill teenager who actually has hidden potential inside of him; in this case, a knack for mechanics that allows to rebuild an entire car at the age of fourteen. This may not be that unlikely had he already had experience with cars, but apparently, he knew nothing about anything. Also, from mowing lawns and stuff, he had saved up to nearly thirteen thousand dollars. These elements aren't that much of a big deal, but for me it takes away a large portion of reality from the story: this teenager is randomly very well equipped to jump ship and start traveling.Now, we have war veterans Waylon and Wayne. Alright, Vietnam was just a devastating war as any other, and the issues Waylon and Wayne (originality anyone?) show in front of Terry are due to the minor flashbacks Paulsen presents to us at the beginning. Actually, these flashbacks were really quite useless, I mean in itself it is horrible what happened, but I kept flipping the pages expecting to see more; instead, they're cut off as if nothing the moment Waylon meets Terry. What annoys me the most out of these characters is that they spend more than half of the novel shoving Terry around in the most condescending manner. Waylon says he must ask in order to learn then aggressively shoots him down when he asks something that THEY don't feel like answering. Waylon and Wayne take control of the trip itself, make it about them and start planning with Terry just sitting in the background, like an idiot. Yes, an idiot, that's how they mostly treat him, as if by some divine mandate they show Terry the world, which is why the moments Terry is "learning", I didn't buy them: the setting for his learning the truth about life and himself seem hardly inspirational. I mean, you need to learn to go hungry? But hey, Terry had no plans whatsoever, no family anymore, nothing but these two people he seems to become dependent of. When *SPOILERS* at the end he drives back to find them after the cowboy fight, the fight itself seemed more like a plot device to drive these characters together; out of conflict Terry realizes he just can't live without them anymore. Again, once it ended, I felt nothing. There were so many gaps and questions left out in the open that probably will never be answered. I kept waiting for Terry's parent to make an appearance, but again, plot device to kick-start the story. The random thing with Wanda the prostitute was nearly laughable. Most thing in the novel are randomly cut off, like they didn't happen, like they weren't important, and perhaps that's the way it happens in life, but novels need a little more push, they serve to drive from the mundane and motivate. Honestly, I could care less for a Marty Sue and his traumatized war veteran buddies.

Gage

This book is about a boy who is abandoned at only age 14. Even tho he is only 14 he does alot of work during the summer and has some cash. So when his parents abondone him he fixes up an old barkly cat kit car. He loves working on engines and so he decides to fix up this car that has been sittn in his garage for a while. After he fixes the car he decides to go out and find his uncle that lives in oregon. He then ends up traveling alot threw the united states and learns alot of new stuff that has happened in the states also were it has happened. I like this book because it tells you alot about what you could be doing and how to learn more about what has happened in the united states. Also you could get alot of experience if you just drive around the united states and explore the history of this country.

Matthew Tyler

The Car by Gary Paulsen is about a fourteen year old boy named Terry Anders who is from Cleveland, Ohio. He had been living there by himself since his parents had a left him. Then he decided to build the kit car his father had and it was called a Blakely Bearcat. After he built it, he decided to head west to Portland, Oregon to see his uncle. Along the way there he picked up two Vietnam war veterans named Waylon and Wayne. He met Waylon one night when it was raining and Waylon suggested to go see his friend Wayne and when they found Wayne, he went along with them. They helped Terry travel west and they helped him learned along the way. They took him to see many different things in America to help him learn more about people, more about America, and ultimately more about himself.

Conner2 Cain

Reading Strategy #1 PreviewI chose to read this book because I was sitting in class and did not have a book to read so I went over to the shelf and this was the only book I saw that looked quite interesting. The reason that I was interested in this book was the cover, and the title “The Car”. On the cover of the book it showed a visual view from the driver seat of an older fashioned car showing the windshield and the other gauges. I knew this book would be a good read because I like cars and from the title I knew it was going to be about cars.Reading Strategy #2 PredictJust from the first couple chapters of the book I knew things were going to escalate quickly. Just because it was said that the main character Terry had parents that were not the best parents to have, or more better said didn't pay much attention to him. I knew that since there was a car in the book and a young boy something would end up happening between the young boy and the car and they would go on an adventure or whatever. Turns out that that actually did happen and Terry decided to finish the last bits and pieces of work on the project car and leave for what I decided to call it an adventure.Reading Strategy #3 VisualizeIn my head this book created several pictures for me. Just from the start I visualized Terry and his parents just fighting and just not getting along from the beginning. And then the car came into play in the book and at first I pictured the main character terry crashing or doing something terribly wrong with it. Then once Terry left the house by himself and got Waylon and the other old man I started picturing a young boy running away from home and finding new friends with not a lot or enough money to live for long on his own. Turns out that for a couple of weeks Terry does get along pretty good for not having parents.Reading Strategy #4 Make InferencesReading the book “The Car” just really got my mind going and I made a a lot of inferences about the characters and what would happen next. When Terry and Waylon left and went to the white house with the people they thought were not normal, I made and inference when they first got there and thought something was going to go terribly wrong. Then they went on and drove to deadwood South Dakota, and since I know there has been lots of history with gambling there I thought that he would start to gamble and lose all of his money and be stranded there, turns out that didn't happen and that at first he was not the best at gambling but after a while he started to get the hang of it and didn't lose all of his money but was actually very successful.Reading Strategy #5 ConnectI can connect to the book the car because I am a young boy that drives and likes to experience new things. The book showed me that me and the main character Terry are similar and like to do some of the same things. I recommend this book to anybody who likes to read adventure stories and likes cars since that's the title of the book and its what it is mainly about.

Zach Rose

-- I read the back of the book when i forgot my book to bring my book to class. -- The setting takes place across the U.S because there traveling and they don't stay in one place for long. -- The conflict started that his parents don't get along at all, Than one day both of them decided to leave not knowing that both of them left 14 year old Terry to raise him self. Than Terry decided to fix up there old car and travel to go find his uncle. -- Terry is a 14 year old boy, He has always kinda kept to him self, and raised him self. He didn't depend on anyone else but him self. Terry is very smart for a 14 years old be built a whole car by him self only using directions. I think that he is a strong kid because he has gone threw a lot; he raised him self, He never gave up on how hard things got. Also he is very determined because he doesn't have his licenses and he never stops driving he drove half was across the U.S. "Adults are locked into car payments and divorces and work. They haven't got time to think fresh." -- The theme i think is adventure, because he doesn't know how to get to his uncles. He learns a lot of new stuff while on the road with the 2 veterans. -- While reading the book i used Visualized him driving across the U.S in this nice big car. All the land markers he is seeing, all the new stuff he is discovering. I also connected with him when he drove threw South Dakota and was talking about how there was just land after green land, Because when i came to South Dakota that what i thought, He was saying how it seem like the green land never ends and it's kinda boring to look at. The last one i used was predict at the being of the story the chapter ends by him look at all the car pieces laying on the ground, And i predicted that he was going to attempt to put this car together. --I really enjoyed reading The Car because I really connected to the book and to the main character, Terry. He is a 14 year old, just like me . Right in the beginning, I knew I was going to love this book. I thought that is was sad that his parents never wanted him and he was never treated right by them since the beginning. He seemed to be able to take care of himself very well though. He always wanted to pay for his own gas when Waylon offered to and always wanted to pay for his own meals. He was every independent for himself, Didn't expect anything from anyone.

Stevecrandell

This is a solid “Campfire Drums” Real Men novel, even if it is impossible. The disbelief begins with the first pages, when Terry’s Mom and Dad pick the same night to leave home for good, and neither knows the other is gone. Even though Terry’s only 14, he needs only one day to build a road-worthy car from a kit. One more day to learn to drive and screw on illegal license plates, and Terry’s ready for a cross-country journey. And what’s an impossible journey without a couple of complete strangers, who happen to be traumatized Vietnam vets, joining in? I can shrug all this aside, because Terry’s adventures are so interesting and well-written. The tipping point for me is the Old Fart flicks of death. The flicks reinforce the vets’ status as Real Men: super strong, and sensitive enough to admit that death-flicking is wrong. But do they have to flick at light speed? Oh well, as testosterone binges go, this one’s a keeper.

Noah G

The book The Car, by Gary Paulsen is a very interesting book that is similar to Voss, by David Ives and Salt, by Maurice Gee. They are similar because they both have the main character meet an interesting person that affects their judgement in a positive way. They learn a lot along the way and become more open while learning to care for people as well. They learn how to overcome fears and do what’s right.Terry Anders from Cleveland, Ohio is the main character in this book. You learn more and more about him as the story goes on based off of his actions. This aspect of the book was very interesting because even on the last page there was still things to learn from him. Despite things being sour in the beginning of the book, he still goes on and things don’t affect him very much, as you will learn throughout reading the book. “His mother called First. ‘Terry, I’m not coming home...’” (9) “His father called just after nine. ‘Tell your mother i’m not coming back-I've got all my Stuff, or everything I want...’” (9)After the initial, “what the heck is book turning into?”, he decides to do something half sensible, and go to his uncles. . . across the country. “Yea. We’ll go out and see the uncle.We’ll head out west.” (30)During his journey he meets an interesting person named Waylon. Waylon teaches him to learn from everything and that nobody can know all. He has some temperamental issues that make it more interesting and keeps you wanting to read. The author couldn't have done any better in portraying him and keeping the reader hooked. Their journey leads Waylon to something he regrets, “I . . . hit . . . them wrong... We’ll talk to Wayne in a couple of days, work on the car, smooth the world off a little,” (78) and takes him to another interesting character, Wayne.When they get to Waynes, Terry starts learning. He is taught a little more about cars and it is here his journey truly begins. Terry started to become more curious and ask more questions, wondering how people lived and how things worked. He discovered talents and found he would like to do. That is what keeps the book interesting. It’s the fact that he is always learning and always discovering and revealing himself. Waylon and Wayne are always learning as well. Their experiences a little more predictable but still interesting and still shocking. These characters are like two peas in a pod, If you have one, the other has to be there to complete it, and seems as though it’s always been that way. All of the bonds and experiences the characters go through together intensify the story. The characters have very clear morals and this makes them stronger. They are all great. Most of the time.There is one character that isn't quite up to par and makes no reason to talk about, except now. His name is Samuel. Samuel is a very old man that walks the walk and talks the talk, plus has an obsession with sugar. His traits are very weird and unappealing. He does some weird things and says some weird things that makes the book seem as though if intended for little children, thus he isn't very good. ‘It’s good to have friends, but it’s better to have friends with sugar.’” (119) That was one of the statements that threw the book off track and didn't need to be there.While learning from all of these characters he truly learns what it means to learn. In the beginning he didn't understand, didn't listen and questions things to early. It was interesting to hear the reactions of the others while he was doing so and it gave the feeling of learning off and let you know when it was happening. It was apparent and didn't need any further explanation. Discovering himself through “trucking” (Traveling with no long term objective). “Trucking” is what led to unveiling of the big picture. It showed the true lesson intended from the author, and was very clever. It made me want to continue on and probably did the same for all other readers, to learn. The Car was a Young Adult - Fiction book. This young adult had to learn and showed that everybody has something to learn. Even the older characters were learning about the stupidity of some of humanity, and the brilliances of other parts or groups. Nobody is ever too old to learn, according to the message of the book. Young adult literature does have its downsides in the fact that you only see from a young person's point of view, and ignorance is sometimes seen. Clouded judgement is also very common and could be resolved from having a more mature point of view. I have read other books of this genre and liked them, but not quite as much as this one but will keep searching for one of equivalence to achieve equilibrium in the literature world. The Car was almost inspiring.So, after analyzing the book it is a definite four and a half out of five. Normally there is a lot of leniency from my part, but I am being a little bit more a critic this time around. Despite have very clever characterization and morals, there are some aspects of learning not covered and some points that seem unfinished. Overall it is very well written and I would recommend this to anyone considering reading the book.

Nathan Wilson

The book was about a kid whose parents got into a fight one night, and the next morning when they went to work they called and said they weren't coming back ever because one thought the other was going to.so he built a kit car that had been sitting in their garage forever, then he ends up heading to the west coast looking for his uncle.I rated this book a five because it was very exciting and clear

Jaden

Gary Paulsen's The Car is a great book I would recommend to young readers interested in travel and adventures. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 because it always kept me on edge and made me want to keep reading. The book is about a 14 year old whose parents abandon him so he decides to head west and travel to his uncles house. For transportation he finishes a kit car that has been sitting in pieces for years. Once he gets the car finished he starts off on his adventure. Along the way he meets a man named Waylon. As he travels with Waylon he learns and gets a new outlook on life.

Mike

in the very beginning of this book, i thougt it was pretty weird because both parents called and said they were leaving and never coming back. Then, it seemed kind of stupid because there is no way a fourteen year old kid can build a car all by himself without any experience in cars. but it started getting good as soon as waylon was in the picture. i didnt know if he could be some sort of murderer or he was just some dude looking for a ride. then, when wayne (one of waylon's friend) appered in the story it told a little bit more about waylon and him being gay. but my favorite part in this book so far was when they were gambling and won a crap load of money. but overall i enjoyed this book.

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