Okay do you know how cool this was?! This was one of the first MG books (and I got to do an interview for the other one!) that FFBC did a tour for. I love that they expanded their genres to include MG books as well, and I’m so thankful that I was included in this tour.
Eleven-year-old Rick Rusek is determined to improve the traffic conditions in Los Angeles– his parent’s failing delivery catering service, Smotch, depends on it.
“Traffic is a puzzle with one correct solution. And I’ve got to solve it!”
Rick has been studying maps and traffic patterns for years, and devises solutions to improve Los Angeles’ notoriously terrible traffic that he calls his Snarl Solutions. He has big ideas, but not enough resources– until his artistic friend, Mila brings him to a Girl Scout meeting.
Every week at Miss Diamond’s art studio, the scouts paint recycled traffic signs with their own designs. The signs will be hung all over Los Angeles to beautify the city with art. But Rick, The Colossus of Roads, has ulterior motives . . . He will restore the signs to their original glory and find a way to install them strategically to rectify the traffic. Anything can be hung with duct tape!
But of course, it’s not that easy. SPLAT (Stop Poor LA Traffic), BLAM (Bike-Loving Amazing Mamas), and the TCD (Traffic Calming Division) have their own methods of curing the city’s dilemma and will undermine Rick’s efforts however they can.
Will Rick be able to clear the notorious traffic problem on Sepulveda Pass in time for his parents to deliver Polish food to the movie studio and land the catering contract they need to keep their company afloat?
Written by Christina Uss, the acclaimed author of The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle, which was selected for the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the year.
Christina Uss has ridden her bicycle across the United States both lengthwise and widthwise, and has worked as an adventure tour guide in fifteen states, leading cyclists of all ages through various mountains’ majesty and all kinds of fruited plains.Even more than pedaling across state lines, Christina loves books, especially ones that remind us all that the world is wonderful, weird place. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her family and will always wave hello if she sees you out riding.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club, Netgalley and Margaret Ferguson Books for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
This just felt like such a wholesome book for me, and I couldn’t help but smile as I read it. I think about how there are certain things happening in the world and maybe most of us adults feel like since that’s just how things are, there’s no sense in trying to change things. But then you have children, adolescents, people like Rick’s age that just want to help change the world to make things better and I think “why can’t we do something like that?” The minds of those younger than us sometimes are so full of great ideas and having the opportunity to foster these ideas can help them see that their thoughts are valid, that they are able to come up with worthwhile changes in the world, and maybe it will help them one day see those ideas come to fruition.
Take Rick’s idea: he just wants to improve the terrible traffic situation in Los Angeles so that his family’s food truck business doesn’t go out of business. He wants to be able to give his family a fighting chance when even the infrastructure in Los Angeles keeps them at a disadvantage. Sometimes we think that children are “selfish” or whatever because they don’t see the bigger picture, but they deserve so much more credit than they get right now.
This book just gave me something to smile about again, and I appreciate it for doing that.