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The Last Chance Texaco Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Listening Library (Audio); Unabridged edition (December 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307282775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307282774
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10--Lucy Pitt is 15 when she is sent to Kindle Home, a group home and her last chance at a semi-normal life. If she makes any errors, she'll be sent to the high-security facility known as Eat-Their-Young Island. Kindle Home is different from the other places she's lived, primarily due to the dedication of the counselors and the way in which they connect with the kids. Lucy realizes that she wants to stay there, and although she manages to weather the consequences of her own impulsive tendencies, she can't control the lack of funding that threatens the Home or the arson that is causing the neighbors to become even more leery of having such an establishment nearby. Readers will root for Lucy and come away with a greater understanding of the complexities of group homes and their inhabitants. Hartinger excels at giving readers an insider's view of the subculture, with its myriad unspoken rules created by the kids, not the system. There is a touch of romance and mystery, and while those elements may be a lure for less sophisticated readers, the memorable aspect of the novel is the way it takes readers inside a system most of them have never experienced.--Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-10. Hartinger's first novel, The Geography Club (2002), was a poignant high-school story. Here the setting is Kindle Home, a run-down mansion in an upscale neighborhood that's used as a group foster home for troubled teens. Lucy lost her parents in a car accident when she was seven, and in her affecting first-person narrative she tells how she has screwed up ever since. This is her last chance before a punishment center. Hartinger clearly knows the culture, and Lucy speaks movingly (if occasionally too therapeutically) about her anger and grief as well as about the other troubled kids. But this is more than a situation; there's a deeper story, as Lucy falls in love with a rich kid in the local school (first they fight, then they kiss). Best of all, however, is the mystery: who is setting cars on fire in the neighborhood? One of the Kindle kids? A neighbor who wants the school closed down? A hostile therapist? The romance and realism sometimes knock heads, but the talk is lively, and the tension of the whodunnit will keep readers hooked to the end. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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But that had been a long time ago, and the door had taken its share of scratches and scuffs since them. Read the first page
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Format: Paperback
Brent Hartinger has crafted a touching and suspenseful novel sure to capture and hold any teen reader's attention. He knows his craft well, having created an edgy novel about the foster care system with a tasteful, deft touch, ensuring it a wide readership. He has proven that tough issues and hard situations teens face can be portrayed with minimal violence and profanity.

Like his earlier novel, GEOGRAPHY CLUB, Hartinger has crafted several sympathetic characters among a microcosm of society's misfits. This novel's group of excluded teens are orphans, kids whose perception of themselves is nearly as negative as their peers at school, who deride them as "groupies" (foster children in group homes). The reader is drawn into their conflicts, both within their own walls, their own psyches, and with society-at-large.

The narrator, Lucy, has been a foster child for over half of her life. Kindle Home is the last, "safe" stop for teens like her, for those who have been in trouble. Children who "wash out" of Kindle Home are then sent to Rabbit Island, a place for teens beyond redemption--in the eyes of the system, at least. As a veteran of group homes, she vows to make an effort to fit in at Kindle, which proves to be difficult. Newcomers are viewed as a challenge of the "pecking order" and it isn't long before Lucy is facing serious challenges from others in the home.

Her school environment presents another challenge when she is caught in a social caste disagreement with two of her peers. In spite of the odds against them, she makes a friend from one of her earlier antagonists, a person who proves to be a crucial ally when Kindle Home faces community persecution and budget cuts.
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Format: Hardcover
Life as a groupie is hard. Groupie as in a resident of a group home. They have laws unto themselves, these kids. Secrets that the adults - the counselors, the therapists, the educators - who work with them will never know. Not even there non-groupie classmates are let into their world. They wouldn't want in anyway. The groupies in Hartinger's LAST CHANCE TEXACO live with daily distrust and suspicion, if not outright hatred. The title comes from the nickname of the group home. It's their last chance before their misbehavior gets them sent off to Rabbit Island Detention Center, aka "Eat Their Young Island."
Author Brent Hartinger used to work as a counselor in a group home and his depiction of the characters in this book seems very authentic to me.The main character, Lucy, is struggling to find the good in herself and her housemates. When she gets into a fight with the ultra popular superjock Nate at school, they both end up picking up trash after school, thanks to the intervention of a counselor who knows the "equal punishment" rules. What ensues is a romance you'd never expect in a million years and a crime drama with an unexpected resolution.
The plot requires some suspension of disbelief in a few places, but all in all, a good book and an enjoyable read.
~ Roxyanne Young
Editorial Director, [...]
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Format: Hardcover
I first saw this book in the YA section of a hole-in-the-wall mystery store. I started asking questions about it, and got an excited "isn't it just darling. I'm not sure if it's a mystery, but just look at it. It's darling." Brent, if you are reading this, don't worry. I'll set the record straight for you.
It is not "darling." It isn't quite "gritty" either, (too much warmth for that) but it is much closer to gritty. The title "Last Chance Texaco" refers to a group home for troubled orphans that is the last stop before a prison-style group home. Lucy, the main character, moves in and instantly sees all the types she's known from group homes in the past -- the mole, the scheming alpha female, the rude alpha male, the prey. The book is worth reading just for the dynamics within the group home, but the story goes farther than that. And yes it is a mystery.
The book also has great, tell-it-like-it-is details. Example: love over a happy meal. Here's one fantastic passage: "I knew that I had bigger problems than just starting school in the middle of the year. Almost everyone was white. It's not like I'm racist or anything. It's just that the only time kids in a public school are almost all white is when they're mostly rich. And believe me when I say that it's rich kids, and the parents of rich kids, who have the biggest problem with a kid from a group home going to the same school they do."
My real rating for this is 4 1/2 stars. The last 1/2 I'm holding back, because there were some times I wish Hartinger had pushed his narrative a little farther, or where I wanted more of the great details that are in other parts of the book. Definitely worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover
15-year-old Lucy Pitt arrives at Kindle Group Home, the last stop on her eight year journey through a foster care system where she has been bounced around since her parents died in a car accident. She's had problems everywhere she's gone and been basically labeled incorrigible. One more screw-up, and she'll be sent to a prison-like facility until she turns 18. Against her better judgment, Lucy connects right away with Leon, one of the counselors who she finds out later has had his own painful foster care past. When he tells her early on that there is "hardly anything in Kindle Home that isn't broken somehow," it resonates with the reader. Lucy later says that the home is nothing more than "a storage shed for broken teenagers," and she isn't too far off. Lucy and her fellow residents have major problems, many of which have to do with having been deprived of love early on.
Though only in her mid-teens, Lucy is worn out and on the brink of giving up. She is tired of fighting the other kids; tired of uncaring counselors; most of all, tired of being uprooted continually. So she decides to make an effort to stay at Kindle Home, but right away she finds herself facing obstacles, not the least of which is her own temper. And then things get even more complicated when she gets in a fight at school, one of the fellow residents has it out for her, someone's setting fires in the neighborhood, and the funding for the home is being threatened. Can Lucy pull things together and face up to all the issues that are coming down upon her?
In this second novel, following his critically acclaimed GEOGRAPHY CLUB, Hartinger has done a marvelous job of bringing Lucy, the counselors, and the kids to life. He's written the story in first-person point of view, and Lucy's voice is clear and refreshing.
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