Best Foot Forward [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this sequel to the beloved Rules of the Road, Jenna Boller is dripping with newfound maturity after her life-altering summer on the road. She has a job she loves at Gladstone Shoes, a best friend who makes her laugh, and a dysfunctional family she's learning how to handle. Jenna feels ready for anything—until Tanner Cobb, a guy with a past, a police record, and dangerously good looks, walks into her life. Suddenly Jenna's surrounded by crises, including a shoe empire on the verge of crumbling. Tanner's street ...
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Best Foot Forward

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Overview

In this sequel to the beloved Rules of the Road, Jenna Boller is dripping with newfound maturity after her life-altering summer on the road. She has a job she loves at Gladstone Shoes, a best friend who makes her laugh, and a dysfunctional family she's learning how to handle. Jenna feels ready for anything—until Tanner Cobb, a guy with a past, a police record, and dangerously good looks, walks into her life. Suddenly Jenna's surrounded by crises, including a shoe empire on the verge of crumbling. Tanner's street smarts seem to be what Jenna needs, but can she trust him enough when the going gets tough?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shoe-crazy Jenna from Rules of the Road lands her dream job at Gladstone Shoes, but trouble arises. "Vivid characterizations, crisp, believable dialogue and some exciting scenarios make for an entertaining ride," PW said. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This sequel to Bauer's Rules of the Road will send those who have not yet met heroine Jenna Boller scurrying to read the first volume. In the first book, Jenna discovered her passion and gift for selling shoes. Now she understands her capability as a manager, marketer, and someone who can strategize to fight for those who are suffering from the ill effects of corporate bad decisions. Jenna has a front row seat for viewing the ugliness of greed and power when the tough, sure, smart owner Mrs. Gladstone finds the empire she has built threatened by betrayals by her less-than-honorable son. At the same time Jenna fights battles on this front, she has a growing understanding about her feelings regarding her dysfunctional father. She learns partly by helping Tanner Cobb, a new employee with a strong family and a police record. Jenna also meets a very healthy love interest who understands the difficulties of doing the right thing in business. Bauer is eloquent in bringing this vivid character to life with a blend of humorous and thoughtful writing. 2005, Putnam, Ages 11 to 15.
—Susie Wilde
KLIATT
Jenna, spunky heroine of Bauer's award-winning Rules of the Road, makes a welcome reappearance in this sequel. Back in Chicago after a road trip driving her tough-minded though tender-hearted boss, Mrs. Gladstone, down to Texas to help save her shoe company from a takeover by her sleazy son, Elden, in the previous title, 16-year-old Jenna is now happily working at Gladstone Shoes while juggling responsibilities at school and at home. She's still wrestling with her father's alcoholism (she called the police on him for driving drunk) and she attends Al-Alon for support. Meanwhile, a new challenge comes into her life: Tanner, a "dangerously cute" teenager whom she encounters when he tries to steal from the shoe store. Instead of prosecuting him, Mrs. Gladstone hires him—and assigns Jenna to be his mentor. Interestingly, this doesn't become a romantic relationship (Jenna meanwhile meets the perfect guy: "'He understands retail,' I said dreamily"), but both of them learn and grow from their work experience, especially when Mrs. Gladstone's son tries to turn the business into a discount chain and is revealed to be using sweatshop labor in Thailand. A great cast of characters, witty dialog along with Jenna's droll asides, and an insight into business ethics highlight this winning title, which is sure to win more accolades for the talented Bauer. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Penguin, Putnam, 192p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Paula Rohrlick
From The Critics
With Best Foot Forward, Joan Bauer continues the adventures of Jenna Boller. Having concluded the adventures described in Rules of the Road, Jenna returns to Chicago and her job at Gladstone Shoes. Mrs. Gladstone returns, as well, struggling to assert the control over the corporation that was promised to her as Director of Quality Control at the conclusion of Rules of the Road. Mrs. Gladstone's greedy son Eldon continues to engage in shoddy business practices, and Mrs. Gladstone moves through the novel toward the inevitable confrontation that mirrors the plot of Rules of the Road. Added to the mix this time is Tanner Cobb, a good-hearted adolescent on parole for theft and determined to throw his life away. We also meet Charlie Duran, a young man who appeals to Jenna because "He understands retail." As always, Bauer's prose is delightful, and the potentially serious issues (Will Mrs. Gladstone save the soul of the corporation? Will Tanner be rehabilitated?) never threaten to break the essentially humorous spell of the novel. Readers who loved Rules of the Road will have to read Best Foot Forward. 2005, Putnam, 183 pp., Ages young adult.
—F. Todd Goodson
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Teens who followed Jenna's journey from Chicago to Texas and back again in Rules of the Road (Putnam, 1998) will be thrilled with this sequel. The 17-year-old still likes to be in control (surely she must be a Capricorn), but she's thrown for a loop when her elderly employer, Mrs. Gladstone, hires a young man caught stealing from the shoe store where she works and appoints Jenna as his supervisor. The teen is still dealing with many issues in her own life, including an alcoholic father and a beloved grandmother whose Alzheimer's disease is progressing. Just as it seems that her life is as complicated as she can handle, she discovers that Mrs. Gladstone's son has been secretly utilizing unethical overseas labor tactics to cut costs and downgrade the quality of the shoes. Bauer's strength in characterization is amply evident here. Teens will enjoy Jenna's emotional growth and root for her tentative romance with Charlie, the donut king. For continuity, however, it is necessary to read Rules of the Road first as Best Foot Forward does not stand as surefootedly on its own.-Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440695919
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 10/5/2006
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,371,659
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: HL640L (what's this?)
  • File size: 164 KB

Meet the Author

July 12, 1951 - "I was born at eleven A.M., a most reasonable time, my mother often said, and when the nurse put me in my mother's arms for the first time I had both a nasty case of the hiccups and no discernible forehead (it's since grown in). I've always believed in comic entrances.



"As I grew up in River Forest, Illinois in the 1950's I seem to remember an early fascination with things that were funny. I thought that people who could make other people laugh were terribly fortunate. While my friends made their career plans, declaring they would become doctors, nurses, and lawyers, inwardly, I knew that I wanted to be involved somehow in comedy. This, however, was a difficult concept to get across in first grade. But I had a mother with a great comic sense (she was a high school English teacher) and a grandmother who was a funny professional storytellerso I figured the right genes were in there somewhere, although I didn't always laugh at what my friends laughed at and they rarely giggled at my jokes. That, and the fact that I was overweight and very tall, all made me feel quite different when I was growing upa bit like a water buffalo at a tea party.



"My grandmother, who I called Nana, had the biggest influence on me creatively. She taught me the importance of stories and laughter. She never said, 'Now I'm going to tell you a funny story', she'd just tell a story, and the humor would naturally flow from it because of who she was and how she and her characters saw the world. She showed me the difference between derisive laughter that hurts others and laughter that comes from the heart. She showed me, too, that stories help us understand ourselves at a deep level. She was a keen observer of people.



"I kept a diary as a child, was always penning stories and poems. I played the flute heartily, taught myself the guitar, and wrote folk songs. For years I wanted to be a comedienne, then a comedy writer. I was a voracious reader, too, and can still remember the dark wood and the green leather chairs of the River Forest Public Library, can hear my shoes tapping on the stairs going down to the children's room, can feel my fingers sliding across rows and rows of books, looking through the card catalogues that seemed to house everything that anyone would ever need to know about in the entire world. My parents divorced when I was eight years old, and I was devastated at the loss of my father. I pull from that memory regularly as a writer. Every book I have written so far has dealt with complex father issues of one kind or another. My father was an alcoholic and the pain of that was a shadow that followed me for years. I attempted to address that pain in Rules of the Road. It was a very healing book for me. I didn't understand it at the time, but I was living out the theme that I try to carry into all of my writing: adversity, if we let it, will make us stronger.



"In my twenties, I had a successful career in sales and advertising with the Chicago Tribune, McGraw-Hill, and Parade Magazine. I met my husband Evan, a computer engineer, while I was on vacation. Our courtship was simple. He asked me to dance; I said no. We got married five months later in August, 1981. But I was not happy in advertising sales, and I had a few ulcers to prove it. With Evan's loving support, I decided to try my hand at professional writing. I wish I could say that everything started falling into place, but it was a slow, slow buildwriting newspaper and magazine articles for not much money. My daughter Jean was born in July of 82. She had the soul of a writer even as a baby. I can remember sitting at my typewriter (I didn't have a computer back then) writing away with Jean on a blanket on the floor next to me. If my writing was bad that day, I'd tear that page out of the typewriter and hand it to her. 'Bad paper,' I'd say and Jean would rip the paper in shreds with her little hands.



"I had moved from journalism to screenwriting when one of the biggest challenges of my life occurred. I was in a serious auto accident which injured my neck and back severely and required neurosurgery. It was a long road back to wholeness, but during that time I wrote Squashed, my first young adult novel. The humor in that story kept me going. Over the years, I have come to understand how deeply I need to laugh. It's like oxygen to me. My best times as a writer are when I'm working on a book and laughing while I'm writing. Then I know I've got something."


Joan's first novel, Squashed, won the Delacorte Prize for a First Young Adult Novel. Five novels for young adult readers have followed: Thwonk, Sticks, Rules of the Road (LA Times Book Prize and Golden Kite), Backwater and Hope was Here (Newbery Honor Medal).



Joan lives in Darien, CT with her husband and daughter.



Copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.















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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.com

    She did it again! Joan Bauer hooked me on yet another novel about selling shoes! <BR/><BR/>I had previously read RULES OF THE ROAD, where we were introduced to Jenna Boller. In BEST FOOT FORWARD we again root for Jenna of Gladstone Shoes. I even *ahem* took this book to church to read between Sunday School and the church service. It was that good. <BR/><BR/>Mrs. Gladstone puts Jenna in charge of Tanner, a boy Jenna's age, after he tries to steal some shoes from them. Jenna's not sure letting him work for the company is the best idea Mrs. Gladstone has had; even so, Jenna's confidence grows as she encourages Tanner to be his best. <BR/><BR/>Changes are coming fast since the merger of Gladstone Shoes and Shoe Warehouse Corporation. Advertising strategies become distasteful. The quality of the product is suffering. Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone's questions aren't being answered. <BR/><BR/>When the higher-ups in the company begin making unethical business decisions, Mrs. Gladstone entrusts Jenna with the investigation. When Jenna finds out that Mrs. Gladstone's son is involved, she has to confide in somebody. Jenna chooses Tanner and is astounded at the things he's noticed. She prepares Mrs. Gladstone for the bad news and shares an understanding of being disappointed by someone you love. <BR/><BR/>BEST FOOT FORWARD is remarkable in its premise of teens doing the right thing only because it's the right thing to do. This is a common theme throughout Ms. Bauer's books, and, once again, she has made me grateful that I'm lucky enough to spend time with teens and that I have the privilege of making an impression upon them - as they do on me. <BR/><BR/>This is another Joan Bauer must read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2011

    Awesome

    Really good especiahlly on my awesome nook

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Anonymus

    Yesss Yesss...... you SHOULD get this book:):):):):)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    The Secret of Castle Hill

    Chapter Eleven ~

    After we had finished our breakfast, Logas, Jennica, and I said goodbye to Brunce and ran off to find Professor Finn.
    He was standing at the enterance to the dining hall, arms crossed and looking impatient. After a few minutes, Jalock and Jorlan appeared and we set off.
    Finn led us down hallways untill we came to a large room that was filled up with kids. I saw Elbeth, who ran over, smiling happily.
    "Attention!" Finn yelled over the noise. The room fell silent.
    "If you are here, that means you passed the test. But there is yet another test for you to pass before you can be counted truly as a warrior."
    "Inside this next room, your courage and skill will be tested in many ways. Only few have passed the Shadow Trial on their first time, and only one has ever come out unharmed."
    "Unharmed?" I echoed. What was in there?!
    Jorlan snorted. "Pff, I bet he's just trying to scare us."
    Finn glared at him before saying, "You are to form a group of three. If you wish to go alone, you can go alone, though I advise being in a group. And it must be a group of three. Why don't you get started, and then we can begin."
    I didn't want to go in alone, so I glanced around to find some of tge others. I looked around for Jalock, but he was surronded by a large crowd. I frowned when I saw Elbeth with him.
    I turned around and crashed into Logas. "You're on my team, right?" I asked.
    He nodded.
    "Now we just need a third." I murmured, looking around.
    Just then, a boy walked over to us. He was small, with red hair and dark blue eyes, and also had a short sword.
    "Hi." He said, shuffling his feet.
    "Do you want to be in our group?" I asked.
    "Oh, sure." He replied.
    "I'm Alora." I said.
    "Frenn." He smiled.
    "So... do you have any idea what is in there?"
    "Not really."
    "Attention!" Finn shouted again.
    The room fell silent.
    "Does anybody not have a group that wants one? No? Good. I have one more thing to tell you. We don't want our students dying, so if you happen to get critically injured, we'll come and rescue you. And there's one rule, don't talk with other groups. If it is absolutly necesarry, go ahead, but this if you don't talk in this course, the Silent Trial will be easier. Now, who would like to go first?"
    There was silence.
    Finally, Jorlan stepped forward. "I will."
    Finn nodded, a strange look in his blue eyes. He opened to door, and a thin mist came out.
    I looked into pitch black.
    Jorlan frowned, gripped his sword, and stepped inside.
    Nothing.
    Then, in a loud voice, "Now what?" Jorlan called back.
    "Find the way out!" Finn said, then shut the door.
    "Who would like to go next?" He asked.
    Slowly, the room emptied as kids stepped into the blackness. I fingered my knife, feeling anxious.
    I watched as Jalock, along with Elbeth and some other girl, stepped through the doorway. As Finn started to shut the door, I heard a faint scream.
    I jumped. "What was that?" I whispered.
    "Next?" The professor said.
    "We'll go." I stammered, suprising myself.
    Finn nodded, opening the door. Logas and Frenn followed me. I took a breath, and stepped into the mist.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2008

    Beat a path to this book. . .

    Jenna Boller is the stereotypical high school overachiever. She is dependable, has a strong work ethic, and is given responsibilities at her work place that are in line with her behavior. Enter Tanner Cobb, a ¿player¿ with dubious ethics. When Mrs. Gladstone, the matriarch of Gladstone Shoes, decides to take Tanner on as her personal rescue project, Jenna has to deal with a maelstrom of feelings about both Tanner and humanity. This was a quick read, and was unusual in its celebration of moral behavior without crossing over the line of preaching. The characters are given emotional responses that have the emotional spectrum of flaws and triumphs that all human beings possess. This story touches on the impact alcoholic family, juvenile crime, and business ethics and could easily be used in Health, Child Development, and business classes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2007

    a reviewer

    She did it again! Joan Bauer hooked me on yet another novel about selling shoes! I had previously read RULES OF THE ROAD, where we were introduced to Jenna Boller. In BEST FOOT FORWARD we again root for Jenna of Gladstone Shoes. I even *ahem* took this book to church to read between Sunday School and the church service. It was that good. Mrs. Gladstone puts Jenna in charge of Tanner, a boy Jenna's age, after he tries to steal some shoes from them. Jenna's not sure letting him work for the company is the best idea Mrs. Gladstone has had even so, Jenna's confidence grows as she encourages Tanner to be his best. Changes are coming fast since the merger of Gladstone Shoes and Shoe Warehouse Corporation. Advertising strategies become distasteful. The quality of the product is suffering. Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone¿s questions aren¿t being answered. When the higher-ups in the company begin making unethical business decisions, Mrs. Gladstone entrusts Jenna with the investigation. When Jenna finds out that Mrs. Gladstone's son is involved, she has to confide in somebody. Jenna chooses Tanner and is astounded at the things he¿s noticed. She prepares Mrs. Gladstone for the bad news and shares an understanding of being disappointed by someone you love. BEST FOOT FORWARD is remarkable in its premise of teens doing the right thing only because it's the right thing to do. This is a common theme throughout Ms. Bauer's books, and, once again, she has made me grateful that I'm lucky enough to spend time with teens and that I have the privilege of making an impression upon them - as they do on me. This is another Joan Bauer must read! **Reviewed by: Cana Rensberger

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2007

    Best Foot Forward = Great Book

    This is a sequal to a book, Rules of the Road, by Joan Bauer. The book is set in Chicago, IL. The main characters name is Jenna Boller. She lives with her mom, and little sis, Faith. Her dad is an acaholic and doesnt live with her anymore. Living w/ a dad as an acaholic doesnt help Jenna. She goes to Al-Anon meetings to help with the problem. In this book she is @ the shoe store. There is a man, Tanner Cobb, who steals from the store and works there to make up for it. Jenna thinks he is bad and doesnt trust him. But throught the book you get to learn how he isnt so bad, and you also get to know alot about the characters. How I got into this book was my sister showing me her copy and saying I should read it. I read the first book first, then was hooked on it and stayed up until 2 am to finish the book. I was sad when is was over, but I know I will read it again. This book doesnt have as much of a plot as Rules of the Road, the first book, but this one is pretty good. I totally recommend this book. Even if you look at the book and think 'bor-ring', its NOT. Read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2015

    Heeellppp!!

    My mom wont let me read this!!!!!! Can someone please tell me what its about?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    :P

    Love love love joan!!!!!!! Every book captures me into suspence, joy, and lots of laughs. Joan weaves words like knitting togther into a wounderful story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Dauntless

    Grrr! :) Cliffhangers make me excited and NEED more story! Good job! :D Keep up with cliffhangers! I can handle it because I'm writing a story, too!
    -Dauntless's author

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    Bridget!

    DANGITTTT! I hate cliffhangers! Theyre just leave you...hanging..Great story, cant wait ro see what lies in the shadows.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    Hope

    I could not wat 2 read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2011

    Actully please dont answer to that last comment. Thank you.

    Good book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2011

    Okay

    I had to read this book for school. It was better than i thought but it was still boring.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Great Read

    I loved Jenna, she is a very shy and determined girl. I loved how she was with her crush, so clumsy........I enjoyed little old Mrs. Gladstone.

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  • Posted October 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Best Foot Forward

    I really like this book. The characters are funny and the conflict is kinda unique. You wouldn't think a simple shoe store could have such a cool story. I would reccomend this to a lot of my friends. This book was really good!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic

    Best Foot Forward was enthralling. I couldn't put it down for the day it took me to read (it was good, but a very quick read). I didn't know it was a sequel until I read the other reviews on this site. I had read some of Joan Bauer's other books and thought that I'd give this one a try. One of the things that I really liked about this book was that the characters were amazing. Even the backround characters seemed important. I loved Tanner, and found myself liking him even though he kept on doing bad things, like shoplifting shoes. I knew he would turn out to be good in the end, although Jenna disagreed with me. I also loved Mrs. Gladstone; she was such a great role model character. She never gave up in her battle against her son and Shoe Warehouse, Inc. She was such a strong character...you don't find them very often, or at least I don't. I also loved seeing how Jenna dealt with her father's alcoholism, because books that deal with problems like family members who are smokers or alcoholics (or dead) are often cliched. Best Foot Foward gets a 5 out of 5 stars for its charm, wit, and compassion- it fit like a pair of fuzzy slippers.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    First book was better.

    I thought this book was ok. The first one was much more better! This book was not what I thought it would be. Overall, it was a good read. (:

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Jenna is wonderful

    This is the "companion novel" to Rules of the Road (another fabulous book). Jenna Boller is inspiring the way she handles herself, her life, and others. She has a delightful sense of humor, and her boss is the best there ever was. Joan Bauer books are always wonderful, and while fairly quick reads, you will be very happy to read them again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    "Amazing, just loved, 'best foot forward'"

    I positively loved 'best foot forward' its in my top 20....lol

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews

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