Road Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen
Ben, a 14-year-old boy, his border collie Atticus, and his impulsive father go on a road trip to adopt a border collie puppy. Along the way, they pick up an entertaining group of passengers, including Ben’s older friend Theo, who is a tough guy trying to straighten out his life, Gus, a mechanic who lends them his bus when their vehicle breaks down early into the trip, and a waitress named Mia, who walks out of the restaurant where she was working to join the group after putting up with harassment. Ben is worried about his parents and his dad uses the trip to explain that he has quit his job to start his own business flipping houses and that because money is tight, Ben may not be able to attend hockey camp. The book is narrated by Ben, with Atticus’ commentary added at the end of each chapter. Atticus’ perspective provides added humor and wisdom to this quirky and fun romp with happy endings all around. The book also has a heart, promoting the virtue of dogs and dog rescue and a touching relationship between father and son. This title is followed by a sequel, Field Trip, in which a third dog is added to the family. A great choice especially for boys who may not be big readers and dog lovers.