THE THREE-DAY TRAFFIC JAM by John Keefauver

THE THREE-DAY TRAFFIC JAM

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Annoyed that new car ``Sweetie Pie'' gets so much of his divorced father's attention, Henry (11) takes friend Tillie-Jean for a drive and ends up on an L.A. freeway where he fishtails into trouble and creates a gargantuan traffic jam as he eludes the police in a wild chase. In this spoof about life in the future, jams can last for months, so Henry and TJ abandon the car and head for the beach, 20 miles away. Henry can get home that way; still, he worries about the barbed-wire fence put around jams lasting more than 12 hours. Armed helicopters order citizens back to their vehicles, but many trekkers--including Henry, TJ, and a trigger- happy psychopath--continue on in the dark. The twosome scale the fence at the beach and wade past soldiers patrolling piers for jam offenders; then Henry decides they must reenter the jam to avoid detection. Police grab the kids in a skirmish with the psychopath and helicopter them home, where Henry makes amends first with his father and then with the judge. Though readers may enjoy the absurdities here, inconsistencies and implausible solutions weaken the farce. The chase and immensity of Jamland are fun, but ominous warnings and massive military patrols seem out of proportion, since disobeying their edicts results only in a fine. Altogether, then: ludicrous but mildly entertaining. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 30th, 1992
ISBN: 0-671-75599-4
Page count: 90pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1992