Book club discussion: Driver’s Ed by Caroline Cooney

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Mother Daugther Book Club with my oldest daughter, Madeleine, was last night. It was a bit chaotic, with girls and moms arriving late and leaving early because of sports and homework commitments, but none of us wants to miss a meeting unless there’s no other option. Our group has been together for more than six years, and we often don’t see each other outside of book club.

Our selection this month was Driver’s Ed by Caroline B. Cooney. All the girls have either recently gotten their licenses or drive with a permit, so they had strong opinions about both the teens and adults in the book.

One mom described the book as having a storyline perfect for “an after-school special.” It involves a senator’s son, a girl from an unconventional household, teen love, a burned-out teacher, death, a horrible secret and facing the consequences of one’s actions.

Most of our book club members thought the characters in Driver’s Ed were two dimensional, and everyone agreed that both moms in the book were unrealistically portrayed. But we had a good discussion about actions that turn out to have dire consequences even though they seem harmless when you choose to do them. And we all got a chance to talk about our current experiences, with moms weighing in on frightening times in the passenger seat and daughters talking about parents “freaking them out” and making them nervous behind the wheel. It was fun to realize that most of our stories were similar.

I would recommend reading Driver’s Ed for the discussion it prompts rather than for the book itself.

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