American Road Trip
American Road Trip
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Annotation: Brothers Teodoro and Manny Avila take a road trip to address Manny's PTSD following his tour in Iraq, and to help T. change his life and win the heart of Wendy Martinez. Includes information and resources about PTSD.
Catalog Number: #168934
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 330 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-627-79741-6
ISBN 13: 978-1-627-79741-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018004255
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Mexican American teen Teodoro's older brother, Manny, returns from war in Iraq shattered by PTSD. Though this family crisis disrupts T's otherwise on-track life, he goes along with his older sister's plan for a sibling road trip in search of healing for Manny. The narrative contains dark subject matter, but T's first-person narration helps keep the mood optimistic and even funny at times. Websites.
Kirkus Reviews
After Teodoro's older brother, Manny, left for Iraq, the Avila family began to fall apart.Then the 2008 financial crisis hit, and the Mexican-American Avilas downsized to a dumpy rental home amid a loss of income. Teodoro doesn't see much hope for his broken family, but news of Manny's return inspires the Avilas to improve their lives. Spurred on by an old childhood friend, Latina Wendy Martinez, and his Polynesian best bud, Caleb Ta'amu, Teodoro even tries to become a college-bound student. But when Manny comes home, he can't shake off the shock of war. Situated between the hope-filled election of Barack Obama and the beginning of Teodoro's senior year, Flores-Scott's (Jumped In, 2013) latest explores the fragile bonds of a fractured family through moments full of poignant confession and self-discovery. Teodoro's funny, wry first-person narration features quick, emotionally charged sentences that provide the narrative a breathless, hard-hitting quality. In hopes of helping Manny heal, Teodoro's spunky sister, Xochitl, plans an impromptu road trip, ensnaring an unknowing Teodoro in the process. The trio travels all along the West Coast, reconnecting with old friends and family. A final stop in New Mexico offers Teodoro the chance to help his brother confront his PTSD, pull his family together again, and possibly begin something meaningful with Wendy. Featuring a diverse cast of delightful characters, this novel bursts with much-needed optimism.A compassionate success. (resource list, author's note) (Fiction. 12-18)
Publishers Weekly
The past few years have brought many hardships to Teodoro Avila, known as T, and his family. But during his junior year, T develops high hopes for the future. He is enjoying a budding romance, his grades are improving, and his brother, Manny, is finally coming home from deployment in Iraq. But when Manny returns suffering from PTSD, his violent outbursts and bouts of depression are messing up T-s plans to get himself and his family back on the right track. As tensions mount and the school year draws to a close, T-s older sister, Xochitl, decides it-s time for her and her brothers to hit the road. Unbeknownst to T and Manny, she has a plan-but if it doesn-t work, there could be devastating consequences. In a story about mending broken ties, making sacrifices, and visiting landscapes and loved ones from the past, Flores-Scott (Jumped In) invites readers to follow T on a road trip that brings to life the Avilas- Latino heritage and Manny-s disorder. In addition to the book-s serious subject matter, it celebrates many things: family love, realized dreams, and the taste of a green chile cheeseburger. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 7 Up This novel paints an emotional portrait of the highs and lows on the journey to young adulthood. The plot focuses on high school junior Teodoro and the Avila family as they enter a period of crisis and struggle to maintain a cohesive unit. Teens will encounter relatable issues of economic hardship, wavering academic self-confidence, feuding parents, and a sense of growing despair as family members continue to grow farther apart. Teodoro's sudden romantic interest in a childhood friend becomes a catalyst for taking charge of his future and improving his grades. Shortly after, his older brother, Manny, returns from several military tours with a difficult case of PTSD and depression. As the Avila family is pushed to the brink, Teodoro's older sister takes the reins and plans a road trip that may just save everyone. Flores-Scott sheds light on important issues of mental health and attempted suicide while exploring the emotions of first love. He also adeptly provides a window and a mirror of Latinx culture and reimagines the American road trip as an individual journey, one deeply anchored in sacrifice for those we love. While some aspects of the trip are predictable, this narrative offers a fast-paced plot, high readability, and guaranteed tears of joy and sadness. VERDICT A must-purchase for fans of realistic fiction. Monica Cabarcas, Albemarle High School, Charlottesville, VA
Word Count: 65,414
Reading Level: 3.6
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.6 / points: 9.0 / quiz: 501800 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.2 / points:16.0 / quiz:Q76634
Lexile: HL550L
Guided Reading Level: Q

A heartwrenching YA coming of age story about three siblings on a roadtrip in search of healing. With a strong family, the best friend a guy could ask for, and a budding romance with the girl of his dreams, life shows promise for Teodoro "T" Avila. But he takes some hard hits the summer before senior year when his nearly perfect brother, Manny, returns from a tour in Iraq with a devastating case of PTSD. In a desperate effort to save Manny from himself and pull their family back together, T's fiery sister, Xochitl, hoodwinks her brothers into a cathartic road trip. Told through T's honest voice, this is a candid exploration of mental illness, socioeconomic pressures, and the many inescapable highs and lows that come with growing up--including falling in love. Christy Ottaviano Books

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