Big Rig (Paperback)

Big Rig By Louise Hawes Cover Image

Big Rig (Paperback)


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Hitch a ride with 11-year-old Hazmat and her Dad in their 18-wheeler, Leonardo, for a feel-good road trip across America that keeps on trucking!

Life on the road with Daddy is as good as gets for Hazmat. Together, they've been taking jobs and crisscrossing the US for years. Now Daddy's talking about putting down roots—somewhere Hazmat can go to a real school and make friends. Somewhere Daddy doesn't have to mail-order textbooks that talk about "nature's promise to all women."

And while everything just keeps changing, sometimes in ways she can't control, Hazmat isn't ready to give up the freedom of long-distance hauling. Sure the road is filled with surprises, from plane crashes and robo trucks to runaway hitchhikers and abandoned babies, but that all makes for great stories! So Hazmat hatches a plan to make sure Daddy's dream never becomes a reality. Because there's only one place Hazmat belongs: in the navigator's seat, right next to Daddy, with the whole country flying by like a crazy quilt and each day different from the last.
Louise Hawes is an American academic and author of more than a dozen novels and several short story collections. She has served as Writer in Residence at the University of New Mexico and The Women's University of Mississippi, and as a John Grisham Visiting Writer at the University of Mississippi. Louise helped found the MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College, and currently teaches there. Visit her at 

  • Libraries and collection developers seeking road trip stories, set through the perspective of commercial trucking, that paint a non-didactic tapestry of contemporary America. 
  • Single parent homes raising intelligent, quirky, and independent children who are navigating the transition from kid to pre-teen and may be struggling to form questions about the absence of a second parental figure. 
  • Middle grade readers who fantasize about life on the road and wonder what it'd look and feel like if their own home rituals and school routines were replaced with something nontraditional. "Where would I sleep? What's the bathroom situation? Can I bring Fido with me?" All great questions, answered within! 
  • Readers looking to go on an emotional, heart-tugging, laugh-out-loud journey as Hazmat wrestles with ideas of womanhood, yearns for a relationship with an absent parent, and fights to retain a lifestyle where tomorrow doesn't look like yesterday or the day before. 
  • Product Details ISBN: 9781682635612
    ISBN-10: 1682635619
    Publisher: Peachtree
    Publication Date: August 1st, 2023
    Pages: 272
    Language: English
    "Woven with hilarity, tenderness, and the chaos of life on the road, Big Rig is a charming novel about growing up."—Foreword Reviews

    "[An]  action-packed novel. . . . The heroine charms completely, as does this portrait of life on the road."—Publishers Weekly

    "There are hilarious moments, some mysticism, and heart-stopping adventures. . . . Hazel is innocent, wise, trusting, loving, capable, creative—and a total delight; readers will root for her all the way. . . . An unusual modern picaresque romp with a lovely message."—Kirkus Reviews

    "Hazel’s loving relationship with her father forms the core of this unusual roadtrip adventure . . . . Hawes creates a story that is wholesome without being hokey, and readers looking for a feel-good adventure should come along for the ride."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

    "Hawes' breezy tale will capture readers' attention, piquing their interest through highway high jinks and keeping them wondering about where Hazmat's adventures will take them next. An original tweak on the road trip story." —Booklist