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  • My Heart Fills with Happiness
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Last Ride
By author: Laura Langston
Selling Points: responsibility, street racing, ghosts
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Mar/01/2011
Lexile Level: HL460L
Fry Reading Level: 2.4
Pages: 136
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $9.95
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I killed my best friend. Thirteen months and six days ago.
Not on purpose. It was an accident. Even the cops wrote it up that way. But if I hadn't dared Logan to race he'd still be alive.
Sometimes I swear I see him. Out of the corner of my eye. Just a glimpse. Like he's haunting me.

That accident…I think about it every day. And most nights too.

He killed his best friend, Logan, in a street-racing accident a year ago. As he tries to make amends to Logan's girlfriend and keep his promise to never race again, Tom is haunted by his dead friend. He thinks Logan is trying to tell him something. Not only that, since he faces huge medical bills from the accident and may have to give up his car, the pressure to race is almost unbearable. - July 1, 2011
"Langston's prose is quick and well-paced without losing the complexity of a solid story. Tom is an engaging, likeable character with whom teens will be able to identify...Tom's struggle to reconcile his past mistakes and face the consequences is a lesson that everyone has to go through in life, and Last Ride shows that it is possible to face off against these consequences without compromising integrity."
Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media - May 1, 2011
"Relatable issues and the story is clearly told. "
School Library Journal - April 1, 2011
"Good books with the topic of car racing and street racing are few and far this is a welcome addition for reluctant readers. The title and cover, with lights and a partial face in the rear-view mirror, will also attract them."
Resource Links - April 1, 2011
"There is much to this slim novel and it works well without preaching or endangering its creditability. That teens often misinterpret events around them and often blame themselves when there is no blame is explored and answered in this book with enough veracity to warrant a recommendation, or maybe even a second reading."
Booklist - February 15, 2011
"[Langston] piles on the narrative stresses with chapter-by-chapter efficiency…A satisfying ride."
CM Magazine - January 21, 2011
"A novel about choices. It also touches on the aftermath of a tragedy and relationships...Langston is able to intertwine these elements in a page-turner with a surprise decision. An interesting read. Highly Recommended."


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Teen fiction for
reluctant readers

Key Features:
Short, high-interest novels
Contemporary stories
Compelling characters
Linear plots
Ideal for Lit Circles
Ideal for Independent Reading

Teaching Resources:
Teachers' Guides
Resource Guide
Accelerated Reader selections
Lexile levels

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