Reading Roll Call – December 23, 2019 – Drive-Thru Dreams

Reading Roll Call is a classroom activity I conduct with my students at the beginning of every week to see what they are independently reading. I always share the title of a book that I am reading to model participation and showcase the lifelong commitment to reading that I’ve made.

The Reading Roll Call idea stems from Donalyn Miller‘s book Reading in the Wild. I have adapted the activity and idea into blog form to track my reading progress on a weekly basis. Happy Reading!


Last minute Christmas shopping in Barnes & Noble led me to finding this week’s Reading Roll Call selection – Drive-Thru Dreams: A Journey Through the Heart of America’s Fast-Food Kingdom by Adam Chandler.

While perusing the social sciences section, one of my favorites, the book caught my eye and reminded me of two things – Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser and Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.

The subtitle of the book, A Journey Through the Heart of America’s Fast-Food Kingdom, rang bells from Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, which I was introduced to in high school by one of my English teachers. When I read the book for an independent reading project, I found Schlosser’s work to be both fascinating and eye opening into the food industry.

I think Drive-Thru Dreams will provide similar realizations and exposures into the landscape of the country’s obsession and with the fast food lifestyle.

The cover art of the book resembles the cover art for Guy Fieri’s Food Network TV Show, “Triple D”, where Guy rolls around the United States to check out food joints serving up mean cuisine.

From the Book Jacket

“In Drive-Thru Dreams, Adam Chandler explores the inseparable link between fast food and American life for the past century. The dark underbelly of the industry’s largest players has long been scrutinized and gutted, characterized as impersonal, greedy, corporate, and worse. But in unexpected ways, fast food is also deeply personal and emblematic of a larger-than-life image of America.

With wit and nuance, Chandler reveals the complexities of this industry through heartfelt anecdotes and fascinating trivia as well as interviews with fans, executives, and workers. He traces the industry from its roots in Wichita, where White Castle became the first fast-food chain in 1921 and successfully branded the hamburger as the official all-American meal, to a teenager’s 2017 plea for a year’s supply of Wendy’s chicken nuggets, which united the internet to generate the most viral tweet of all time.

Drive-Thru Dreams tells an intimate and contemporary story of America – it’s humble beginning, its innovations and failures, its international charisma, and its regional identities – through its beloved roadside fare.”

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