Margaret Peterson Haddix’s FULL RIDE: A Book that Will Make You Question People You Trust

Phyl CampbellStarred Page By Phyl Campbell, 26th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Children's Books

Margaret Peterson Haddix is one of my favorite YA authors. She writes for a thinking audience of hopeful individuals willing to see the world differently. While her books in a series are great and popular, her stand-alone books are what I enjoy most. A recent one is FULL RIDE.

Book Info and Synopsis

FULL RIDE
MARGARET PETERSON HADDIX
SIMON & SCHUSTER
2012
343 pages

SYNOPSIS (WITHOUT SPOILERS)

Becca’s father pled guilty to embezzlement, theft, racketeering, and a score of other white collar crimes. This caused Becca and her mother to have to go into hiding, move to a new town, and go from a life of luxury to a life of poverty. Worse, many of the people Becca’s father stole from were parents of her friends, so Becca didn’t feel like she had anyone she could talk to. Becca’s father also stole from her mother’s family, so they were not welcomed there, either. Becca and her mother were all alone.

At her new school, without the ability to connect online, without money to hang out with friends, all that was left to Becca was school, work, and studying. She starts to get excited about her plans for college. Her senior year, everyone is called into the school auditorium together and given a packet about applying for scholarships and aid. Becca is mortified to see a picture of her incarcerated father staring back at her from the back page of every student packet. It’s part of a re-printed article: “What If the Middle Class Really Can’t Afford to Send Their Kids to College Anymore?” (p41)

Instead, Becca is warned that her father’s crimes may prevent her from even applying for financial aid – aid which, without her father’s money, she now desperately needs. When she applies for one merit-based scholarship, she accidentally exposes her life story to the people at her new school, and that exposure could have significant consequences. It is not the consequences that Becca was even worried about before, but a whole new set of problems.

Critique

There were so many plot-places this story could have legitimately gone. I love that it went in what I felt was the most plausible direction. So many times people live in fear of the enemies they don’t know and don’t understand. So oftentimes, the enemy quickest to defeat us IS us. There are times where no one around you can be trusted, and times where you have to know yourself well enough to find people you can trust. You won’t always see the good you do, but if you habitually do good things, others will notice and remember.

FULL RIDE may be the greatest declaration of hope, hard work, and friendship I’ve seen in novel form. There are no easy answers. There is no fairy godmother who sweeps down and grants Becca’s every whim and wish at the end. There are minor characters with dreams and aspirations, too, and these are not ignored to pursue the storyline of the main character. FULL RIDE is an award-winning novel, and deservedly so. I’d love to see it on required reading lists for college-bound students and their parents, guardians, mentor, and friends.

Further Reading & Image Credits

Other reviews of interest:
Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer
Every Boy’s Got One by Meg Cabot
This Isn’t About the Money by Sally Warner
When the Lights Go Up by Jen McClory
Sorority Girls With Guns by Cat Caruthers

Image Credits
MorgueFile (Crooked Man, Good Friends) and Goodreads (cover)
YouTube Video is owned by the OP

Tags

Becca, Book Review, College, High School, Incarcerated Parent, Money For School, Scholarships, Trust Issues

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- phylcampbell.com -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar snerfu
26th Sep 2014 (#)

Great analysis of another nice story Phyl. This story really is a pointer not to give up...I think. But the story is engrossing, to think of the fears and fights that the child goes through makes one want to read the book immediately.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
26th Sep 2014 (#)

Another awesome post my dear Phyl, cheers!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
26th Sep 2014 (#)

Another awesome post my dear Phyl, cheers!

Reply to this comment

author avatar spirited
26th Sep 2014 (#)

Not sure what YA stands for but a big yah(hands up) for your review Phyl, it's true we are often our own worst enemy...

Reply to this comment

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
26th Sep 2014 (#)

you are so good at this Phyl...many thanks..

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
26th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, everyone!! Spirited -- YA stands for "Young Adult." YA fits a broad age range from 10- grown up!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
27th Sep 2014 (#)

Good review and summation of the book, thanks Phyl. We may not be able to do good, but our actions should not harm anyone especially our own close family members who are forced to deny the relationship for their very survival! Adversity strengthens our character to bring out our best and I am sure this is the case for Becca - siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
28th Sep 2014 (#)

Well said, Siva! Thanks!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
4th Oct 2014 (#)

Another good one.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
4th Oct 2014 (#)

Thanks!

Reply to this comment

author avatar AjaySinghChauhan
25th Oct 2014 (#)

interesting post and thanks for sharing it with us

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
26th Oct 2014 (#)

Ha! You figured it out! The other two comments must have been typos. Welcome to the site.

Reply to this comment

author avatar puncakceria
10th Dec 2014 (#)

Informative article. Thank you for sharing this.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Tranquilpen
28th Dec 2014 (#)

A refreshing read! and a spell binding critique! Thank you P.C.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
5th Jan 2015 (#)

Thanks puncakceria and Tranquilpen!

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password