• List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $1.59 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: While this book has been loved by someone else, they left it in great condition. Hurry and buy it before someone else does and take advantage of our FREE Super Saver Shipping!!! (there is a chance this book could contain a gift inscription)
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Breakout Hardcover – July 15, 2003

See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$1.48 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"


Kindle FreeTime Unlimited
Free one month trial
Get unlimited access to thousands of kid-safe books, apps and videos, for one low price, with Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. Get started for free. Learn more

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Cricket Books/Marcato; X-Library - 1st edition (July 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812626966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812626964
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,657,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up-Running away from her latest foster home, 17-year-old Del begins her new life trapped in traffic on a Los Angeles freeway, gathering the experiences that will fuel her successful later life as Elena Franco, playwright and performance artist. When a serious accident turns the Santa Monica freeway into a virtual parking lot, Del whiles away her time, cleaning her new old car, watching the people around her, wandering off in search of food and a bathroom, and finally participating in an impromptu talent show. Interspersed with these mundane activities are scenes from Elena's monologues written eight years later and presented in italics and a description of an out-of-body experience she had in a similar traffic jam in which she flies over the traffic carefully observing the people around her. Her intriguing character sketches include an insurance agent attempting to get on with his work in spite of the baby in back, a boy with a stolen '51 Hudson Hornet that attracts everyone's attention, and a pair of drain cleaners who see a golden opportunity to pick up women. Through Elena, readers learn that Del successfully broke away not only from the traffic jam but also from her old life, and has made a living and a family of her own. Del is a believable teen, poised on the edge of something new but not quite yet sure where her talents will take her. Fleischman's artful structure, distinctive voices, and carefully chosen details make this a splendid choice for teens on the verge of a breakout of their own.
Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. Seventeen-year-old Del, a perpetual foster child, is breaking out. A rusting Datsun is taking her out of town, but it's the traffic jam on the freeway that gives her the time to frame a new life. Amplifying this structure are two concurrent narratives: Del's interior monologue as she worries, rages, and waits for the logjam to break, and a narrative taking place eight years in the future, as Del, a playwright now calling herself Elena, performs her one-woman show about being caught in freeway traffic. Del is a sharp observer, and the jam-up allows her to notice the people around her: a father trying to sell insurance and care for a baby at the same time; a guy tutoring a younger man in the art of picking up women, who mistakenly tries his tactics on a lesbian. Elena's narrative, less specific and more wide-ranging, reveals some of the decisions that she made to get to where she is. This artful, insightful work makes demands on its readers, but teenagers will find the rewards very much worth the effort. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Paul Fleischman grew up in Santa Monica, California, the son of children's book author Sid Fleischman. Drawing on history, music, art, and theater, his books have often experimented with multiple viewpoints and performance. He received the Newbery Medal in 1989 for JOYFUL NOISE: POEMS FOR TWO VOICES, a Newbery Honor Award for GRAVEN IMAGES, the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction for BULL RUN, and was a National Book Award finalist for BREAKOUT. He lives on the central coast of California.

For more information, visit paulfleischman.net.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Johannes on October 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Del has decided that she can no longer live the life she?s known for so long. She has decided to change identities, sell what she can, put the rest in the truck of an old Datsun, and move out of town.
On the way out of LA, she encounters a four-hour traffic jam. At first she?s angry about her situation and scared that a cop will recognize that she?s a minor and send her back to foster care; as time goes on, however, the traffic jam becomes a message to her about people, and her view of the world is slightly softened. Del is able to imagine the lives of her fellow ?traffic-jammers,? and she can see what they need and who they really are. These insights help her reach an understanding of her own life.
Paul Fleischman is the master of taking seemingly insignificant characters and events and creating powerful relationships among them. Just as he did in Seedfolks, here he has written about common place people who come together unexpectedly and learn a little bit more about each other than they expected.
There is a protagonist here who is in need of hope and understanding, and she gets it surprisingly from strangers who don?t know that they?re offering her anything except a little conversation during a long wait.
The interviewer?a young man working on his thesis?shows Del how people grow and change even over short periods of time, and the man with the red beret gives her a glint of hope that she is clever and has talent.
The flashback between her present self and this traffic jam experience eight years prior offers the reader relief, knowing that she is, indeed, able to take this experience and her life and make something of it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elisabeth Hegerat on October 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Del is seventeen, and she's running away from her latest foster home in L.A. She's got a car, got a plan, and then, a traffic accident turns the Santa Monica freeway into a thousand-car parking lot. The book takes place in alternating time periods--during the traffic jam, and eight years later during her performance of a one-woman play/monologue about an epiphany she had while in another, similiar traffic jam.
Del is a strong-minded, forthright protagonist, and the juxtaposition of the two points of view provides a satisfying insight into the woman she'll become. What's hard to capture in a summary is the remarkable interweaving of little bits of the lives of all sorts of fascinating, very plausible characters.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?