Last Ride

Last Ride

5.0 1
by Laura Langston
     
 

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Sixteen-year-old Tom Shields is struggling with guilt and a ghost.See more details below

Overview

Sixteen-year-old Tom Shields is struggling with guilt and a ghost.

Editorial Reviews

www.keenreaders.org
"Langston's prose is quick and well-paced without losing the complexity of a solid story. Tom is an engaging, likeable character with whom teens will be able to identify...Tom's struggle to reconcile his past mistakes and face the consequences is a lesson that everyone has to go through in life, and Last Ride shows that it is possible to face off against these consequences without compromising integrity."
CM Magazine
"A novel about choices. It also touches on the aftermath of a tragedy and relationships...Langston is able to intertwine these elements in a page-turner with a surprise decision. An interesting read. Highly Recommended."
Booklist
"[Langston] piles on the narrative stresses with chapter-by-chapter efficiency…A satisfying ride."
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"There is much to this slim novel and it works well without preaching or endangering its creditability. That teens often misinterpret events around them and often blame themselves when there is no blame is explored and answered in this book with enough veracity to warrant a recommendation, or maybe even a second reading."
The Horn Book Guide
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keenreaders.org
"Langston's prose is quick and well-paced without losing the complexity of a solid story. Tom is an engaging, likeable character with whom teens will be able to identify...Tom's struggle to reconcile his past mistakes and face the consequences is a lesson that everyone has to go through in life, and Last Ride shows that it is possible to face off against these consequences without compromising integrity."
Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media
"Relatable issues and the story is clearly told. "
VOYA - Sherry Rampey
In Last Ride, Tom longs to feel the horses running under the hood of the car, but what he wants most of all is his best friend, Logan, by his side; however, since Logan's fatal car wreck, Tom has not been behind the wheel. When Tom's boss pressures him into racing again, Tom does not know if this will truly be his last ride. Langston pulls together an excellent short novella that deals with the costs of street racing. The fact that she used Logan as an antagonist in the subplot is creative and also realistic. Of course, when Ray corners Tom, we know who the real villain is. This was a fast-paced book, that can and probably will, capture a guy's attention, especially those who like fast cars. The language and symbolism Langston uses throughout the story almost make the reader feel like they are sitting behind the wheel with Tom. (Orca Soundings) Reviewer: Sherry Rampey
Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
Tom Shields killed his friend. At least that is how he feels about the accident that took his friend's life while the two were involved in a drag race. The resulting accident also put Tom's mother in serious debt. But perhaps the weirdest thing of all is that Tom often still sees Logan out of the corner of his eye and he definitely smells the cherry red Twizzlers which were Logan's favorite. Tom has not raced since, not for the past thirteen months, but now the debts need to be paid and racing may be his best way out. It is through his work at Ray's garage that Tom got involved in drag racing. Like an addict, he became addicted to the adrenaline rush associated with facing his fears and pushing the accelerator to the floor. He also borrowed money from his boss Ray to pay for the parts and labor to make his car the fastest in the field. But that was before Logan was killed and now he is just trying to live with himself. This is another contribution in the excellent "Orca Soundings" series of high interest, easy reading novels. The characters are well defined and the situation is realistic. Struggling high school readers will find a lot to like in this novel of guilt and redemption. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
School Library Journal
Gr 7–9—Logan died in an accident that occurred when Tom challenged him to a car race. More than a year later, Tom, 16, is haunted by his best friend. He smells cherry Twizzlers, Logan's favorite, and sees him out of the corner of his eye. He thinks Logan is trying to tell him something, but what? Tom struggles not only with Logan's ghosts, but also with his feelings toward his girlfriend and his promise that he will stop racing. With his huge medical bills because of two operations, his mom about to lose the house, and his boss threatening to take his beloved car because he's in debt to him, Tom is having a hard time saying no to racing and the money it could bring in. Good books with the topic of car racing and street racing are few and far between—Will Weaver's Saturday Night Dirt (Farrar, 2008) comes to mind-so this is a welcome addition for reluctant readers. The title and cover, with lights and a partial face in the rear-view mirror, will also attract them.—Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, Oakland, CA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554694167
Publisher:
Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Series:
Orca Soundings Series
Pages:
136
Sales rank:
904,344
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
HL460L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

I killed my best friend. Thirteen months and six days ago.

Not on purpose. It was an accident. Even the cops wrote it up that way. But if I hadn't dared Logan to race he'd still be alive.

Sometimes I swear I see him. Out of the corner of my eye. Just a glimpse. Like he's haunting me.

That accident…I think about it every day. And most nights too.

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