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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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Notes From The Midnight Driver Hardcover – October 1, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–After drinking some vodka and taking his mom's car for a spin to his father's girlfriend's house, who just happens to be his former third-grade teacher, 16-year-old Alex Gregory finds himself on his neighbors' lawn with police yelling at him and a broken gnome under his car. It is hard to believe that Alex would do anything like this; most of the time he hangs out with his friend Laurie, a sassy petite karate expert, and plays guitar in the school jazz band. He is also trying to get over his parents' recent split. For drinking and driving, Alex is sentenced to 100 hours of community service at a nursing home with Solomon Lewis. Sol is a difficult, crotchety, eccentric old man with emphysema who lashes out at Alex in strange Yiddish phrases. Soon Alex grows found of Sol, who teaches him something about the guitar, respecting the elderly, and taking responsibility for his actions. Alex's voice is fresh and funny, but doesn't downplay the serious situations. The other characters in the book are well defined and add interesting touches to the story. Fans of Sonnenblick's Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie (Turning Tide, 2004) will be pleased with this follow-up book in which Steven and Annette make a few brief appearances.–Shannon Seglin, Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* While his mother is out on a first date, 16-year-old Alex decides to get drunk, steal her car, and drive to his father's home, hoping to catch him romancing one of Alex's former teachers. His goal? Revenge. Reality? A damaged car, a decapitated gnome, a drunk driving charge, and community service. He is ordered to serve his 100 hours visiting Solomon Lewis, the meanest, crankiest resident at Egbert P. Johnson Memorial Home for the Aged. Alex discovers that Solomon is also witty, intelligent, and a fighter--an old man who has lived all the joys, sorrows, and regrets of a long life. Sonnenblick has created a memorable cast of characters: acerbic Sol, a former famous jazz guitarist who is now dying of emphysema; narrator Alex, a budding guitarist with a tendency to make excuses rather than assume responsibility; and Alex's best friend Laurie, a tiny, pixielike karate master whom Sol refers to as Alex's "wife." Even minor characters, such as Alex's parents and the judge, take on a heft and weight uncommon in YA literature, and teens will easily connect with Alex's epiphanies: "You can't just throw someone out of your life when they displease you," and, "We're all free to choose some people to love, and then do it." It all adds up to a funny, bittersweet tour de force. Frances Bradburn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Missouri Gateway Readers 2008-2009
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1sy edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439757797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439757799
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #877,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. S. VINE VOICE on September 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"You would think I'd have been pretty scared by this point, but because I had drunk so much vodka so fast, I was still getting drunker by the second. Even with my hands cuffed behind my back -- and the cuffs were REALLY tight, because the officer hadn't been enjoying me much so far -- I was like a little one-man house party in the back seat of the cruiser. The last thing I remember was getting bored of the dispatch radio, and shouting, 'Change the station! Get me some ROCK!' "

Have you ever turned on the TV and heard someone who has scored a multi-million dollar lottery jackpot boasting about the skill it took to win? Of course, not! There is no skill involved in buying the winning ticket out of those hundreds of thousands of entries. It's purely the luck of the draw.

Well, I won the lottery as a teenager. A bunch of times. On numerous occasions I drove legally drunk. On special occasions I drove blind drunk. And it turned out that I was one of the few, the chosen, the lucky ones who never hurt themselves or anybody else while in that condition behind the wheel of an unforgiving, speeding mass of metal.

I wasn't good. No, I was lucky. There were back then, and still are, lots of other teens and older folk killing or being killed in this fashion on a daily basis.

And, no, I can't help wondering sometimes where I would be today if the wrong number had suddenly come up for me on one of those long-ago Friday nights.

Sixteen-year-old Alex Gregory will be waiting quite a while now before getting his driver's license.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How many times in our life, we have been forced to do something we hated. And how bewildering it was to accept that those turned out to be some of the most defining moments in our life.

I had a couple of such events, so it was easy for me to identify with the turmoil of Alex, a mild mannered boy. How he was pissed off with his emerging life, his maiden attempt at confrontation which ended with a mandatory social service. Life sucks. But wait, it gets worse when the person he is supposed to assist turns out to be a pretty vicious character, out to destroy whatever spine was left in him.

And that is where Alex develops a deeper understanding about relationships, the futility of carrying a grouse through the life and the meaning of true forgiveness. Yes, he gets a harsh tutor, but he manages to bring out the best in him, makes him a much more sensitive and caring human being. Towards the end, one gets confused as to who was supposed to assist whom, and brings out the true character of symbiosis.

This is the first work of Jordan I read and was quite touched by his style of writing. He nimbly moves from humour to pathos , seemingly merging the two. He manage to touch me deep inside but did it in quite a flipping manner. His sense of humour was just right, not too much over the top. It was very refreshing indeed.

I would highly recommend all to give this a try, while I go over to read his other works.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a quick read and sweet story of sixteen-year old Alex, who has to do community service at a nursing home after a drunk driving incident involving a neighbor's garden gnome. He is assigned to crotchety Sol, who loves to insult others almost as much as he loves to play practical jokes on them. While their initial interactions make Alex want to run for cover, a bond forms between the two, and Alex begins to think of more than just finishing his "hard time."

This is my second Jordan Sonnenblick book, and this one actually has appearances from both Steven and Annette of "Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie." I preferred "Drums" slightly more, but "Notes from the Midnight Driver" was also very well done. Fans of Gary Schmidt, R.J. Palacio, or Fiona Woods should give Jordan Sonnenblick a try!
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Format: Hardcover
Jordan Sonnenblick keeps getting better. NOTES is the story of an angry adolescent - even angrier than most! Alex's parents have gotten divorced and after drinking an excessive amount of vodka, he's going to just drive over and tell his dad how angry he is. Luckily, he doesn't hurt anyone when he crashes the car, but now he is even angrier, because he has to spend time at an old folks' home talking to possibly the crankiest man in the whole place - Sol. Sol's tough love is hilarious, poignant, and ultimately effective. Great book, great read, great for kids just starting to drive or even just thinking about starting to drive. I'm using it with my ninth graders right now, and they love it!
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I purchased this spelling dictionary back in 2013 when my then six year old daughter was in First Grade; even though the recommended age range for it is 8-12 years, Grades 3-7. The beginning of the book does give a 4 step method to help you look up words that you don't know how to spell. However, with the English language being such a complicated one, this 4 step method quickly becomes convoluted after just the first step! After reading it, my head was spinning and I realized that there was no way my 6 year old would be able to grasp all the grammatical rules, necessary to use the method. I quickly decided to find a more simple, straightforward method to teach her how to use the dictionary. We simply used the first and second sounds, and when there was a word that is a little less straightforward, like "psychology" which has the beginning sound of an "s," but actually begins with a "psy," then I help her. My method didn't allow allow her to use the dictionary completely independent of help, but she still found the dictionary useful.

Now that she's almost finished Second Grade and has been using this dictionary for almost two school years, she is much more proficient at finding words on her own. She still needs some help every once in a while, but that's usually with the more complicated words...like with words that look nothing like they sound! LOL She really enjoys the fact that the spelling dictionary gives her more independence when spelling words. As she said "I love this book. It helps me." Take it from 7 12/ year old. This spelling dictionary is an awesome resource for Elementary School children. Maybe children 8-12 will have better success navigating the book on their own, but I would still recommend it for younger children in First and Second grades.
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