The Last Chance Texaco by Brent Hartinger

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Fifteen years old and parentless, Lucy Pitt has spent the last eight years being shifted from one foster home to another. Now she’s ended up at Kindle Home, a place for foster kids who aren‘t wanted anywhere else. Among the residents, Kindle Home is known as the Last Chance Texaco, because it’s the last stop before being shipped off to the high-security juvenile detention center on nearby Rabbit Island--better known as Eat-Their-Young Island to anyone who knows what it‘s really like.

But Lucy finds that Kindle Home is different from past group homes, and she soon decides she wants to stay. Problem is, someone is starting a series of car-fires in the neighborhood in an effort to get the house shut down. Could it be Joy, a spiteful Kindle Home resident? Or maybe it's Alicia, the bony blond supermodel-wannabe from the local high school who thinks Lucy has stolen her boyfriend. Lucy suspects it might even be Emil, the Kindle Home therapist, who clearly has a low opinion of the kids he counsels. Whoever it is, Lucy must expose the criminal, or she'll lose not just her new home, but her one last chance for happiness.

In the tradition of S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders and Louis Sachar's Holes, Hartinger writes about a subculture of teenagers many people would like to forget, in a novel as fast-paced and provocative as his first book, Geography Club.

About Brent Hartinger

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Brent Hartinger is the author of many books, mostly for and about teenagers. Ge-ography Club, the first book in the Lambda Award-winning Russel Middlebrook Se-ries, has been adapted as a successful stage play and also a feature film starring Scott Bakula and Nikki Blonski. Other feature films based on Brent's work include The Starfish Scream (2014). Brent is also the co-founder of the website, which was sold to Viacom/MTV in 2006. Read more by and about Brent, or contact him at
Published May 12, 2011 by HarperTeen. 252 pages
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Children's Books, Parenting & Relationships, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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This is teenage Lucy Pitt’s last chance: Sent to yet another group home, she struggles to fit in because if she screws up here, it’s off to a notorious last refuge for hopeless incorrigibles.

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Publishers Weekly

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The premise is unique, and Hartinger creates a strong sense of group home life by breaking down the rules—both those the counselors enforce and those the kids uphold for each other—and with snapshots of such scenes as troubled Roberto having a "meltdown" at dinner and Lucy sorting out her feeling...

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