Article, Booktalks

How to Steal a Car Booktalk

  • Grades: 6–8

Bored out of your mind?  Need to add some excitement to your life? Try Grand Theft Auto—and I don't mean the game, I mean the real thing.

Are you sick of your friends and family? Wish you were somewhere—anywhere—else? Some girls in that situation might try drinking or drugs, hooking up with one guy after another, cutting or starving themselves. But Kelleigh doesn't do any of those things. Instead, she steals cars.

The first time, it's just an impulse—wild and crazy, and so not like anything she'd usually do—and she gets away with it! Obviously, she should try it again. So she does....

The next time, it's no impulse—she has to plan out exactly how to take Alton's bright yellow Hummer, and before it's over, she comes closer to dying than she ever imagined. Even so, it was definitely just what he deserved for spreading all those rumors about her and her friends. 

But once those friends, Will and Jen, identify her as a car thief, she can't really get out of it. It's like her new identity. She did the Hummer for Will, did the Lexus for herself, and did the Cadillac for Jen. And the more cars she stole, the easier it got. 

Until the night she saw the flashing lights of the cop car behind her. Until the day Deke Moffat, local dropout and juvenile delinquent, called her a "booster," and offered her a part-time job as a professional car thief. That's when things started getting really scary.

This booktalk was written by Joni Richards Bodart, university professor, writer, consultant, and booktalker extraordinaire.

  • Subjects:
    Adolescent Issues
top