Kristi’s Book Nook Review
Sam is not the happiest kid on the block. He barely remembers his father who was killed in Iraq when was just four years old. He is small for his age and he is constantly bullied by Truman at school. On the bright side of things he does have his best friend Chloe and his puppy Banjo to rely on. As a matter of fact, it’s those two friends who are by Sam’s side when he takes his last retaliation attempt at Truman just a little too far.
It’s so bad, Sam, Chloe and Banjo have to make a getaway to Sam’s grandparents home, to hide from Truman and his Dad, and the Sheriff. Now that Sam’s grandparents are involved, they put Sam and Truman together for the weekend on a project. The two boys are forced to get along and work together to get an old car running again in grandpa’s barn. The two boys find that they have a lot in common when it comes to cars. Things really get ramped up when the boys discover the dragster race track and that kids can drive them too. Sam learns that cars were his father’s passion.
This secret had been kept from him because his mother did not want him to follow in the dangerous footsteps of his father and the world of drag racing. How will Sam convince his mother to allow him to compete in the junior dragster races? Carter has done an excellent job of introducing young readers to the world of cars and drag racing.
Kids will learn drag racing terminology and all about the cars. This unusual story brings together two kids who were enemies and turned their world around to friendship. That is a tough thing to do. This story is a quick and fun read with lots of emotional twists and turns. Young readers won’t be able to put this page turner down. Parents and teachers will approve of this heartfelt story of family and friendship.
Readers Favorite Review
Sam was tired of being bullied by Truman. Chloe, Sam’s best friend, insisted that the only way to stop the bullying was to fight back. Things didn’t go quite as she planned and Sam knew they had only made things worse. Thanks to his grandparents he knew he had a way to escape from Truman’s wrath.
Sam was a very unhappy boy. His father, a Marine, was killed in the Iraq War. His mother looked sad when he asked her questions about his father, so he stopped asking. Sam never suspected his mother was keeping secrets from him: one in a trunk in a locked room and one in his grandfather’s barn. The secrets would not only change his life, but also the lives of those around him.
One person whose life was changed was George, a man Sam didn’t remember though he had been Sam’s father’s best friend. The secrets Sam discovered gave back to George his hopes, dreams and fondest memories. Being a kid isn’t easy. Sometimes as adults we forget just how difficult it was when we were growing up. Often I have heard adults wish they could go back and be a child again. I never want to.
C.J. Carter has skillfully captured the struggle of a ten year old. Our main character is Sam McCormick, a ten year old boy in Atlanta. “Junior Dragster Dreams: How Sam Found His own Ride” has many lessons within the pages. Mimi manages to break the barriers between two rivals.
C. J. Carter has created realistic characters in this tale. While the story focuses on children aged 9-12, this book will appeal to a wider range of ages including adults. This is one of the first, if not the only, children’s novel about junior drag racing. Everyone has a special niche in life, and readers will be delighted to see Sam find his.
The plot is interesting and well done. This book has action, chills, thrills, and bits of humor. What more could you ask for? The subject matter will appeal to both girls and boys, but especially to boys. It is often difficult to find suitable books that will appeal to boys, but this one fits the bill! I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I will be watching for more books by this author.
Comments from Readers
“Just finished reading @CJCarter2 book Jr Dragster Dreams. This is a Great Read you owe it to yourself read this book twitpic.com/7ad301.”– Top Fuel Racer Clay Millican
“First full disclosure: I never would have read this book if I hadn’t known the author with whom I’ve worked off and on for years. I wasn’t the least bit interested in drag racing and I don’t have children. But, I loved it! I couldn’t put it down. I laughed; I cried. The back of the book says it’s for ages 8-12, but I think it’s for all ages. There’s something there for everyone to learn and love. I highly recommend it! “
“A heartwarming read, great for the whole family! You’ll meet three kids – Sam, Chloe and Truman, discovering the joys and angst of adolescence, and the value of true friendship. You don’t have to be a fan of racing to enjoy it…but you might just become one! Highly recommend!”
“My ten year old loved this book. I read it to her and then she went to her room to read it again. It’s just such a good story about how we wish the world could be all the time. But those people are out there. I think she will expect to meet them and be the kind of person who would meet them. Excellent!!!”
“This book so captures the trials and misadventures of growing up. It is the way a kid should grow up with family support and love even and in spite of the sad fact his dad died in the war in Iraq. You do not need to like drag racing, but it is a great introduction to the sport. This is about life, it is crisp, full of suspense and great personalities.I will not be surprised if adults become as big fans as the children. And don’t forget the young girls, how many of us knew they drag race well before 16 years of age.”
“I bought this book for my grandson as he’s interested in racing and anything to do with cars. I knew nothing about junior dragsters but learned quite a lot. It had a good plot with a moral and was well written. It would be a fun read for both boys and girls.”
“Not only is this book the first and only book about junior drag racing, it is a delightful story about a sweet little boy whose father was killed in the Iraq war and the everyday issues that kids his age face. I found the stories about him and his friends’ escapades to be very entertaining and contained a lot of good life lessons for kids, as well as adults. I can’t believe all that I learned about drag racing too. When I started reading it, it was hard to put down. The characters literally came alive on the pages. I would highly recommend this book to young and old alike!”