Driver's Ed

Driver's Ed

3.7 63
by Caroline B. Cooney

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Driver's Ed means a license which means freedom. Remy and Morgan can't wait. When they take a late-night joyride with someone who already has a license, they end up stealing a stop sign. Their innocent prank turns deadly, and Remy and Morgan share a painful secret. What do you do when you didn't mean it, but you can't change what's happened? An ALA Best Book and Quick


Driver's Ed means a license which means freedom. Remy and Morgan can't wait. When they take a late-night joyride with someone who already has a license, they end up stealing a stop sign. Their innocent prank turns deadly, and Remy and Morgan share a painful secret. What do you do when you didn't mean it, but you can't change what's happened? An ALA Best Book and Quick Pick for Young Adults. Booklist Editors' Choice. HC: Delacorte Press.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"With evocative, vigorous prose," Cooney writes of a night of thrill-seeking gone wrong when a young mother dies as a result of a prank by three teenagers. "As convincing as it is believable," praised PW in a starred review. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)
The ALAN Review - Michaeline Chance-Reay
Two fifteen-year-old sweethearts, Remy Marland and Morgan Campbell, share the excitement of Driver's Education. They can't wait to get that all-important first driver's license. Rides through the countryside with their jaded teacher and various classmates inspire what they consider a harmless game. In reality it is an act of vandalism that ends in death. The adventure all too quickly has taken them from their innocent, invincible, childhood realm to the place called adulthood, where they are expected to be responsible for their actions. The tragedy brings out the worst and the best in both adolescents and adults. Their coping mechanisms reveal much. Caroline Cooney again tackles serious subjects while weaving a powerful plot together with realistic dialogue and characterization. Students ages twelve to eighteen, parents, and teachers would all learn from, and be moved by, this narrative.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Disinterested driver's ed teacher Mr. Fielding views his class as indistinguishable brainless clones. In order to keep them straight, he distributes name tags, and then calls out three lucky participants each day to go out on the road. Of course, the students are way ahead of him, and just exchange name tags whenever anyone wants a chance behind the wheel. Remy loves to drive, and she constantly trades tags with other girls. One night, she and a perspective love interest, Morgan, accept a class challenge to collect road signs, recruiting an older boy to drive. The expedition goes without a hitch- until they learn that a young mother has been killed at the intersection from which they have stolen a stop sign. The whole community is up in arms, and the grieving widower appears on TV with his son, offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the vandals. Remy and Morgan are filled with remorse and guilt as their lives are turned upside down. Mr. Fielding, in a rare act of awareness, nearly accuses a different student of the crime because of the switched name tags. Both young people realize that they have to take responsibility for their actions and confess. Cooney uses her familiar fast-paced, conversational style throughout the novel. As the action intensifies, the sentences get shorter and more pointed. This stylistic device intensifies the drama and underlines the horror of the situation. Great literature this is not. However, the simple plot, told from Remy and Morgan's alternating viewpoints, is in no way simplistic, as it takes on sensitive issues and deals with them in a compelling manner. The overriding tension and the theme of an innocent prank backfiring into tragedy will attract teens and heighten the book's appeal.-Susan R. Farber, Chappaqua Library, NY
Stephanie Zvirin
Here's a novel that really sneaks up on you. The dust jacket calls to mind paperback horror fiction, but the teenagers in this provocative investigation of moral responsibility don't turn into vampires or go berserk and attack their classmates. They do, however, cause a horrible death. Driver's ed class is pretty much of a joke. Mr. Fielding zones out when he's in the school car, and he's never sure who's behind the wheel. Even so, Remy Marland thinks driver's ed is great. It gives her a chance to hone her driving skills (by taking other people's turns) and to moon over Morgan Campbell. Morgan also likes driver's ed. For him, it's the perfect place to read car magazines, look at girls, and moon back. When the two agree to a nighttime escapade to rip off some street signs, their hormones and the thrill of the risk get in the way of their judgment. The subsequent death of a young woman, killed at an intersection from which they stole a stop sign, profoundly tests their feelings for one another and their ties with their families. The substance of the novel develops rather slowly. It's prefaced by some wry, irresistible scenes that replicate the exquisite tortures of high-school crushes while setting the stage for the tragedy. Then, with graceful ease, Cooney slips back and forth from Remy to Morgan, to give readers a glimpse of the different ways the teenagers handle their nightmarish burden and their families'--especially their mothers'--reactions. A poignant, realistic novel, with nicely drawn characters and a vintage metaphor that's actually refreshing: a driver's license (not first sex) is the "ticket out of childhood."
From the Publisher
“A wrenching, breathlessly paced plot and an adrenaline-charged romance make Cooney’s latest novel nearly impossible to put down. . . . This modern-day morality tale is as convincing as it is irresistible.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred

“A poignant, realistic novel, with nicely drawn characters.”—Booklist, Starred

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

An ALA Quick Pick

A Booklist Children’s Editors’ Choice

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.63(w) x 8.51(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Caroline B. Cooney is the author of Goddess of Yesterday (an ALA Notable Children’s Book); The Ransom of Mercy Carter; and The Face on the Milk Carton (an IRA–CBC Children’s Choice). She lives in Westbrook, CT.

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Driver's Ed 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
In the beginning, the book started off really slow and confusing. I did not really understand the whole purpose of the book until about the middle of it. It jumps from one person's view to another which can also get really confusing. Overall the book was pretty good, the characters were well written and well thought out. The story really tells you the reality of thinking before you decide to make a stupid choice just to look cool in front of your friends. It actually taught me alot about what happens if you vandalize and you are a minor. It also taught that skeletons always come out the closet eventually. The book taught me that even the smallest mistake can make a huge difference. It spoke to me and the next time i make a decision I will think of all of the consequences instead of just doing things mindlessly. Whether its a life or death situation or not. The writer was definitely trying to get across the reader's mind to think before you make a mindless mistake that could someone in trouble. I recommend this book to anyone that likes a different sort of story and anyone that likes to read adventurous books. mkelley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not like this book. It starts out really slow and the toward the middle a bad thing happens and then the book stops progressing. More and more guilt piles up and then every body turns against their selves. If you like books with happy endings DO NOT read this book. Nothing happy happens after chapter 10, and more and more... mutiny keeps happening. This is, and I am sorry, just an ugly combination of words in a desperate hope of being a mystery or a big hit. This is just tragedy after tragedy and guilt after guilt. I cannot give this book a good rating because all it did was make me run out of time and make me sorry I ever read the book. Zero stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was REALLY boring
sammywhite More than 1 year ago
When Remy Marland is behind the wheel of a car, nothing else in the world mattered to her. Except for her crush, Morgan Campbell. Morgan was a very popular and good looking boy who went to school with Remy and was also in Driver's Ed with her. A few of the other kids in their class were talking about stealing signs, Remy and Morgan thought that it might be a fun thing to do. It was almost a first date for the two who both had a crush on each other, little did they know that their fun night would have a terrible consequence. There are many themes in this book; some of which include responsibility, guilt, consequence, accountability and forgiveness. I enjoyed this book because it was and easy read and it was thought provoking. Some things that were lacking might have been suspense and at times it was a bit dry. Overall though, i think that this is a must read for new drivers, because it may change the way you drive on the roads today Go get this book if you like romance and adrenaline.
domesticallychallenged More than 1 year ago
My son read this book as part of his summer reading requirement for freshman year of HS. He enjoyed it for the most part. He said it got dull in the middle(14 yo boy). He did say the book left an impression on him. He didn't realize what could happen to people if you stole a street sign.
Guest More than 1 year ago
OMG, this is such a great book. Caroline B. Cooney did such a great job! The only part that was hard for me was that nothing much happened inthe just kept building guilt, which was fine too...
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing. and in the end it proved that every action has a consequence. It taught me to next time think ahead to what may happen before you act. It was an incredible story and i couldn't put it down. I'd reccomend it to anyone who's looking for a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
XD Runs there.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
OMG i love this book soo much its one of the best books i've read its amazing. i love books with a twist and romance. if you do i advise you to pick up this book and read it yeah i agree some parts are boring then it gets better and better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was extremly complex, and I cannot decide wether it's good or not. I however was a little annoyed to read some reviews of people who said they had read the last and first page of this book and that it was 'lame'. By not reading the book in it's entirity, you should not be able to write a review on it. In the book, a girl steals a sign and the next day someone dies because they didn't see the stop sign. It was a sad book, but it also showed what can happen with one action, and the effect of carelessness. However, Mrs. Cooney has writen better books, I would recomend those.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think its boring because at the begging of the book all they talk about is teenagers practicing to drive for their Drivers Ed test. Every chapter talks about the teenagers relationships of the their parents and siblings. The story is about teenagers stealing signs from roads. A women was killed because the teenagers stole a stop sign from one of the roads. The woman drove across the road because she didn't see a stop sign there and was hit by a dump truck and was killed. The kids admitted to stealing the signs. The police were never notified about who removed the stop sign. For that reason the two teenagers were never punished.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great it shows you that no matter how small a thing may seem there can be huge consquences. it also shows that friendships are important through thick and thin. the best part is reading about kids that seem just like you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
DRIVERS E.D. This book really inspirers me because it tells what other people did when they were young and had the opportunity to have drivers ed. How boring it is or how fun it is but it is worth it because after that you get the chance to drive were ever you want. You can drive without your parents being next to you. And being all-nervous that you might mess up in front of them. This book also shows that you should trust your friends no matter what happens it shows that you should never fool around in the streets with a car because someone might get hurt just cause of a person that don¿t know how to drive and might run over a person. It also makes a person that doesn¿t now how to drive realize that if they don¿t know how to drive they should not grab car to go fool around with it. Because oh them someone might end-up hurt because of there driving skills. This is why just cause of this book you can learn a lot of stuff from it that you might remember on the road. This is why I chose this book at the beginning I thought it was going to boring but as I started to read more and more I got into it and I became more enthusiastic about the book. This is why I truly recommend this book to other people it might be boring at the beginning but as you read more and more it will become more interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
DRIVER¿S ED This book is about learning how to drive in school and the experiences of some student¿s. The book starts off like at the beginning of the school year. Everybody is excited except for like two person¿s cause its their first time to drive, and some have been waiting for this day and some are a bit scared. As the story goes on I don¿t¿ know what happens. This book is lame cause who would be scared to drive and who would get exciting for driving. They repeat the same thing over and over most of the time through the whole book. I say this book was made for people to be afraid of driving or to be careful while driving either way this book is still lame. I only read like about two pages and I got bored and it was the back page and like a page and a half. I really don¿t know what the book is about. I think the book was going to be boring till the end cause it was about driving and that¿s all they talk about and it seems like if they just add thing to make it interesting but its still lame. They also just say thing like the book is good it got an award you should read it but it¿s still lame. They thought it would be interesting for kids who haven¿t drove but its not. It also seems like they are trying to get kids to stop driving but at the same time they try to make it a bit interesting and fun so it makes you want to drive and get into car accidents no wonder they are so many accidents it cause of books television and a bit cause of games. Anyways this book was lame and I didn¿t even read the whole story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was just ok I recommened but it was not one of Caroline B. Cooney's better books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the first Caroline Cooney books I read, and I couldn't put it down. It was very well done by the author. This book will make you keep on reading until you have read it all the way through. It is a book that you cant just stop reaing because you are wondering what is going to happen next. Wonderful book!