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Jenna Boiler is pleased with her job, selling shoes after school at Gladstone's Shoe Store in Chicago, Illinois. While she is happy with her job, however, Jenna is not necessarily happy with her physical appearance. She is tall, and she does not like her weight or red hair…
The CEO thus asks Jenna to become her personal driver for a business trip to Dallas, Texas, where the yearly stockholder meeting will take place (Baur).
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 (Bauer).
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. Gladstone. They try to influence voters to help them thwart a business takeover in the upcoming stockholders' meeting. Mrs. Gladstone's son, Elden, and a shoe warehouse owner are planning a takeover, turning Gladstone's Shoes into a warehouse style operation with inferior merchandise, an idea Mrs. Gladstone cannot tolerate (Bauer).
All through the long summer days, Jenna thinks about her father and the events in her life that he missed and his b ...
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