The Car

ISBN: 0152058273
ISBN 13: 9780152058272
By: Gary Paulsen

Check Price Now


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

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.


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. :/


I thought this was a great book. It was not at all what I expected, but I ended up really liking the characters in the story. My 13 year old son first read the book & recommended it. It is a great book to get teens to just think. My favorite quote would have to be, "Are you feeling froggy?" I had to laugh out loud.

Brandon Graybeal

I thought this was a great book of adventure. Terry is left by both parents in the book and he is left all by himself with just a kit car. He assembles the kit car and eventually starts off to find his uncle he hardly knows. Such a great book filled with adventure, and is one of my all time favorites. This book Is a great book about how its like to be left to fend for yourself. One of my favorite parts in the book is when both Terry's mom and dad both call him and tell him they are never coming home, and he is just like well darn time to watch some tv. This book has many other great moments as well like when Terry decides to take on the task of getting the kit car to run and ready for the road. It is good to know that Terry actually does something to survive when he knows he is on his own instead of just sitting there like a moron.


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.


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.

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.


Actually one of the better YA books I've read in awhile. Not too predictable, with actually interesting characters.


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.

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.


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.

Alex Schantzen

The CarGary PaulsenTerry Anders is a 14 year old boy when his parents left him due to marital problems. Terry's dad had a car kit that he got from a guy who didn't make payments to him. Terry started working on it and after a week or so got it running. Terry's plan was to drive to Oregon to see his uncle but he would encounter many distractions on the way. Terry was heading down the interstate until it started pouring rain so he pulled over onto an exit to take a nap. He was woken up by a homeless guy named Waylon. Waylon then asked if he could travel with Terry for awhile. While traveling the encountered a couple guys in a truck who threw a beer bottle at them. Waylon told Terry to follow them into a gas station where Waylon beat them up. They made their way to Waylon's friends house in Omaha, Nebraska. Wayne helped Terry put a supercharger in his car. They then made it up to an old guys trailer. His name is Samuel and he tells historical stories. Then it's Waylon's turn to choose where they travel. He chooses Deadwood. They go gambling and Waylon wins $18,000 which he splits three ways. They continue heading west into Wyoming. They meet some bullriders there and Waylon again, beats them up. This time the cops are on there trails. They tell Terry to continue on because he was underage so Terry keeps on going. Terry eventually turns around to help them and then the book ends.I rate this book a 4 out of 5This book is a very good book. It keeps interest and has a good story line. Gary Paulsen isn't the kind of author that hides opinions in his books, he mainly writes about adventures.I would recommend this book to any reader who wants a good read. They will not be able to put this book down.

Josue Lisboa

Josue lisboaMr.williamsEnglish 122 November 2013 THE CARThe title is THE CAR. The author is by Gary Paulsen. Gary Paulsen win author of hatchet. In my opinion it is one of the most sad book iv'e ever read. Three reasons why I feel that way is because his present never paid him much attention to him. The second reasons is that he grow up with no present. Three reasons why is he was only fourteen-years-old.The setting start in Cleveland Ohio, he drove to oregan. The good guy is terry and his uncle. His uncle a like because he help his nephew with thing. Yes, they are a like me because T well do the samething for my family. The supporting charaters is terry, mom, dad, uncle . Mom, dad never paid terry much attention to himm. When mom and dad disappear after one of their all to frequent arguments. And terry didn;t want his persents in the house. And terry went to his uncle house in oregan for some help.The conflict in the story was that terry persent did not paid terry much attention. The bad guy was the persents. It was the problem between them two because terry persents didin;t never paid attention to him. It starts that terry persents didn't gave attention. It ends that terry went to his uncle house for some help. Yes, the protagnist resolve the problem. Yes, it was resolved. It was happyily ever after because terry went to ask his uncle for help.The themme in the story was that never let your parents that pay no attention to you.The main character lesson was that dost let parents ignore you. My favorite charater was that terry parents did not paid him no attention. The best part of the story is terry went to his uncle housr foe some help.Yes,i like the story. The thing i like about the book is terry ask for help. The part i did not like about the story is when terry parents disapper. My favorite least was terry. The best part was terry drove a car to his unclr house. Yes, i well recommed this book to someone else.


In The Car, Gary Paulsen demonstrates the extent to which a person can lose themselves in their passions. When 14-year-old Terry builds his kit car, he loses himself in the process, forgetting even to eat. Leaving home on a drive West, Terry finds himself on an impromptu trip through American culture with two Vietnam veterans who have an affection for learning about the world as they struggle with past demons. Along the way, his own excitement for discovery awakens.


ROAD TRIP TO SELF DISCOVERYPaulsen's 1993 road trip odyssey proves surprisingly interesting reading for adults, as well as for its YA audience, despite the virtually all-male cast of characters. The book chronicles several weeks in the life of a 14-year-old "emancipated adult." Finding himself suddenly on his own Terry gradually carves out a temporary existence for himself free of adult supervision--or in his parents' case: gross neglect. Unshackled by his father's negativity the young protagonist decides to finish the assembly of a Kit Car (Bearcat) which lies in piles aroundn the garage--also abandoned by his father.Terry becomes obsessed with its completion and gradually speaks To the car--His car--which emerges as THE CAT. Neglecting personal health and the outside world he labors with patience and automotive intuition to create something that actually runs. At 3 am he takes the next logical step: a test run in the neighborhood. Eventually Terry decides to abandon the empty Detroit house--having the vague plan of seeking an uncle out west in Oregon. With little gear but plenty of lawn mowing money the under-aged boy sets off with no driver's license, learner's permit (or even lessons), in an unusual car bearing illegal plates (from another car.) How long will he get away with it before being stopped?Now on this cross-country gig Terry is assisted by two men who, one at a time, become his highway mentors--teaching him the joys and challenges of "Trucking." Although both display character flaws and carry heavy emotional baggage, the former Vietnam buddies have absolute faith in The Road. Terry grows to realize their hope for their lives, and trusts in their knowledge of human nature. First he is commandeered by Waylon during a rainstorm---a man who reads Shakespeare and plays the guitar. Then he meets his pal, Wayne, an artist who loves his Harley named Baby. Taking him under their macho wings, the two W's decide to show him the Real America--the complete story which Terry has obviously not learned in school. They urge him to put his Oregon plan on hold while they introduce him to the Finishing School of the Road--insisting that to be on the road is the best way to learn.And learn Terry does--though one wonders why school authorities or his neighbors never notify the police of the boy's absence. While shucking his adolescent duties Terry embarks on a wild ride not entirely of his conscious planning. He is introduced to people--characters of deep meaning to his vagabond mentors--and places of significance to all Americans. One suspects that GP was reliving some of his macho glory days in these pages--with his frequent references to Politics and nostalgic "old time" country musicians--as if he wants to ensure that the 90's generation grows up not in total ignorance of the pop culture of the past. The nebulous ending reveals that Terry has learned the meaning of Loyalty, and possibly suggests a sequel: The Journey of Self Discovery. (October 27, 2010. I welcome dialogue with teachers.)

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *