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Best Foot Forward
     

Best Foot Forward

4.1 33
by Joan Bauer
 

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The must-read sequel to the beloved Rules of the Road, from award-winning author Joan Bauer.

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

Overview

The must-read sequel to the beloved Rules of the Road, from award-winning author Joan Bauer.

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?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Best Foot Forward...

"This funny, winsome book is full of Bauer's trademark folksy wisdom..."--Jennifer Hubert, Booklist

Praise for Backwater by Joan Bauer

"Bauer's characters crackle with eccentricity and exhibit glimmers of intense emotion."--Publishers Weekly

Praise for Almost Home by Joan Bauer

"Sugar's voice is convincing, both as storyteller and young writer; her natural good humor shines through what could be a sad story indeed. Quirky supporting characters—both human and dog—add to its appeal. Sugar...will win readers hearts." —Kirkusstarred review

"Sure to inspire..." —Library Media Connectionstarred revie

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
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142406908
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/05/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
155,604
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.51(d)
Lexile:
HL640L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Joan Bauer (www.joanbauer.com.) is the author of numerous books for young readers. She received a Newbery Honor Medal for Hope Was Here, and the L.A. Times Book Prize for Rules of the Road. The Christopher Award was given to both Hope was Here and Close to Famous, which also received the Schneider Family Book Award. Joan is the recipient of numerous state awards voted by readers.

School Library Journal says, “When it comes to creating strong, independent, and funny characters, Bauer is in a class by herself.”
  

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Best Foot Forward 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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!
Georgia Eugenides More than 1 year ago
Really good especiahlly on my awesome nook
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yesss Yesss...... you SHOULD get this book:):):):):)
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 4 months ago
So this is book two of the book Rules of the Road. You should read that fisrt but still- So this 16 year old girl Jenna works at a shoe store. In the last book, the store owner gave the store to her son who is not good or fair. Anyway, Jenna is at the store when this guy steals shoes. He is about Jennas age and gets caught. The ex-store owner decides to give him job to work there instead of getting sent back to 'jail.' He works hard and becomes a part of the store family. This is a great book, and even better after you've read thr first. I hope you enjoy this deep and exiting book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mom wont let me read this!!!!!! Can someone please tell me what its about?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not wat 2 read it.
katrece olafson More than 1 year ago
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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mostest_pug_lover More than 1 year ago
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!
booksreadbooks More than 1 year ago
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.
JustAnotherRead More than 1 year ago
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. (:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
clemmy More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I positively loved 'best foot forward' its in my top 20....lol
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Guest More than 1 year ago
hey, this was a fast book to pass the time. it was not as good as rules of the road, seeing as there was almost no point to it. it didn't really convey any message whatsoever. it was just normal, nothing special. you don't need to read the sequel if you don't want to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVE Joan Bauer, she is my FAV author! This was a perfect sequel to Rules of the Road although it turned out differently then i thought it would! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I read the inside cover on this book, it sounded very good. Much to my surprise, this was the dullest book that I've every read. There was no plot, and nothing exciting happened. I mean, who writes a book about problems at a shoe store?