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Cars: The Junior Novelization    adapted by Lisa Papademetriou order for
by Lisa Papademetriou
Order:  USA  Can
RH/Disney, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Competition has begun for the Piston Cup in the biggest race of the year, the Dinoco 400. Rookie racer Lightning McQueen intends to be first at the finish line. Just thinking about his top finishes to date sets the red car's RPMs zooming higher. McQueen is concerned with only two competitors - Strip Weathers and Chick Hicks.

The race begins, and progress is announced over the speakers. There's a spin-out involving a few cars, but McQueen regains control, dodges 'rubble and smoke ... and leapfrogged into the air over the wreckage'. McQueen is known for his arrogance and vanity, firing many pit chiefs and crew. He announces to the press 'I'm a one-man show ... and not just for putting the pedal to the metal'. Sure he's won, McQueen gets ready to jump into the winner's circle as the official words come over the speakers, 'Hold on folks ... for the first time in Piston Cup history ... we have a three-way tie!' Chick, Strip, and Lightning are to meet in one week in California for a tiebreaker race. Anxious to get there, McQueen orders his transporter (and only friend) Mack to make no stops, defying federal regulations. An accident separates Lightning from Mack's trailer.

The Sheriff of the dwindling town of Radiator Springs in Carburetor County arrests Lightning for speeding and damaging town property, applying a restraining parking boot to the red car's tire. McQueen is sentenced to community service - specifically, to be hitched up to Bessie, an old road-paving machine, and fix the town's roads. It's a dirty job, but McQueen has to provide restitution for his damage to town property. Until the roads are to the town's satisfaction, McQueen is stuck in Radiator Springs (not that he doesn't attempt a get-away now and then). During his stay in the sleepy community, Lightning meets many, including sleek-blue Porsche Sally (who set Lightning's engine to revving and his ego to soar), and the Honorable Doc Hudson, presiding judge (McQueen learns something about Doc that will knock his headlights off!)

Lisa Papademetriou has written a dazzling Junior Novelization adaptation of the Disney Pixar film Cars. Perpetual action and good life lessons provide a trophy-winning read. One more thing - there are glossy color photo inserts of cars, from scenes in the movie tie-in. This book is goooooooood!

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