Rules of the Road Summary

Overview

Jenna Boiler is supremely happy selling shoes after school at Gladstone's Shoe Store in Chicago, Illinois. There are things sixteen-year-old Jenna does not like about herself, including her height (five feet eleven inches), her weight, or her red hair. However, Jenna can sell shoes very well. Jenna knows how to take care of her customers, finding just the right shoe for each one. She prides herself on getting the right fit for every foot. Her ability is noticed by the curmudgeon-like president and CEO, Mrs. Madeline Gladstone, who asks Jenna to be her personal driver on a business trip to Dallas, Texas, for the annual stockholders' meeting.

Jenna is reluctant when she sees the Cadillac she will drive. She overcomes her own trepidation and her mother's refusal to allow her to take the responsibility and launches out on a summer long, cross country adventure. She leaves her troubles, which include an alcoholic father, behind.

As Jenna gains confidence behind the wheel, she learns about the rules of the road that were never in the student driver's manual. She sees the similarity between these rules and the rules of life. Her self-confidence grows as she meets the demands of Mrs. Gladstone, and a unexpected friendship and fierce respect grows between the two.

Jenna's business acumen becomes a valuable asset to Mrs. Gladstone. As she visits store managers, Jenna sleuths to gain information about the merchandise and the stores for Mrs....

(The entire section is 500 words.)