Big Rig (Hardcover)

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Hitch a ride with 11-year-old Hazmat and her dad in their 18-wheeler, Leonardo, for a feel-good road trip across America that keeps on trucking!

Life on the road with Daddy is as good as gets for Hazmat. Together, they've been taking jobs and crisscrossing the US for years. Now Daddy's talking about putting down roots—somewhere Hazmat can go to a real school and make friends. Somewhere Daddy doesn't have to mail-order textbooks about "nature's promise to all women." Somewhere Mom's ashes can rest on a mantel and not on a dashboard.

While everything just keeps changing, sometimes in ways she can't control, Hazmat isn't ready to give up the freedom of long-distance hauling. Sure the road is filled with surprises, from plane crashes and robo trucks to runaway hitchhikers and abandoned babies, but that all makes for great stories! So Hazmat hatches a plan to make sure Daddy's dream never becomes a reality. Because there's only one place Hazmat belongs: in the navigator's seat, right next to Daddy, with the whole country flying by and each day different from the last.

Award-winning author Louise Hawes writes with an easy, conversational voice and an "I'll never grow up" spirit that cheerfully thumbs its nose at traditional coming-of-age narratives. This heart-tugging, laugh-out-loud portrait of a father and daughter is a satisfying journey across modern America you won't want to miss.

About the Author

Louise Hawes is an American academic and author of more than a dozen novels and several short story collections. She has served as Writer in Residence at the University of New Mexico and The Women's University of Mississippi, and also as a John Grisham Visiting Writer at the University of Mississippi. Louise helped found the MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College. She currently teaches there. Follow Louise on Twitter @louisehawes and visit on her on the web at

Praise For…

"Woven with hilarity, tenderness, and the chaos of life on the road, Big Rig is a charming novel about growing up."—Foreword Reviews

"[An]  action-packed novel. . . . The heroine charms completely, as does this portrait of life on the road."—Publishers Weekly

"There are hilarious moments, some mysticism, and heart-stopping adventures. . . . Hazel is innocent, wise, trusting, loving, capable, creative—and a total delight; readers will root for her all the way. . . . An unusual modern picaresque romp with a lovely message."—Kirkus Reviews

"Hazel’s loving relationship with her father forms the core of this unusual roadtrip adventure . . . . Hawes creates a story that is wholesome without being hokey, and readers looking for a feel-good adventure should come along for the ride."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Hawes' breezy tale will capture readers' attention, piquing their interest through highway high jinks and keeping them wondering about where Hazmat's adventures will take them next. An original tweak on the road trip story." —Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9781682632529
ISBN-10: 1682632520
Publisher: Peachtree
Publication Date: August 9th, 2022
Pages: 272
Language: English