How to Train Your Dad

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Carl is thirteen, and he is pretty tired of the way his dad does things. And he doesn’t have a mom to help him. She died when he was young, and his dad won’t talk about their life before. Now his dad doesn’t work, and he gets everything they need through bartering. He is an amazing mechanic, handyman, and dumpster diver, so they usually have what they need, but when necessities include things like pink overalls and a kludged-together recumbent bike, Carl doesn’t think it will catch the eye of “the girl,” Peggy, and that’s important to him now. He finds a puppy training manual and enlists his buddy Pooder to help him retrain his father so Carl can become “lookatable” and get the attention of Peggy.

Gary Paulsen certainly is in touch with his inner adolescent, because the voice of Carl in this first-person narration sounds just right. There are a LOT of funny happenings, and a terrific small-town setting including a rusty trailer on the edge of town. The writing is excellent, the dialogue snappy. the characters fully realized, and the story very compelling. Kids, even reluctant readers, will love this fun story.

Reviewed By:

Author Gary Paulsen
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publish Date 05-Oct-2021
ISBN 9780374314170 Buy this Book
Issue November 2021
Category Travel