by Leslie Connor
Fourteen-year-old Dewey’s parents are stranded on vacation up near the Canadian border, leaving Dewey and his four siblings on their own for much longer than originally planned. All the kids know the routine for taking care of themselves and one another, but things are complicated because of why their parents can’t get home: there’s an energy crunch and no one can get gas. People from all over town are showing up with their bikes in hopes of getting them fixed at their dad’s repair shop. Dewey is good at fixing bikes, and his brother Vince is great at it. But as the demand for repairs escalates, so too do tempers on all sides, with the crisis bringing out the best in some friends and neighbors and the worst in others. Meanwhile, bikers and pedestrians take over the interstate, bike parts are running out, grocery store shelves are emptying, and there’s no end to the trouble in sight. For Dewey, who is trying to manage the business, admitting he can’t do it all is akin to admitting defeat, and learning to say “I can’t” without feeling like a failure is his ultimate challenge. Despite an unnecessary subplot involving a bike thief, Leslie Connor’s novel is an intriguing blend of old-fashioned sensibility and twenty-first-century dilemma. Wonderful sibling personalities and interactions ground this story that offers a fascinating “what if” for readers to contemplate. (Ages 10–13)
CCBC Choices 2011. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011. Used with permission.
By the award-winning author of Waiting for Normal and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Leslie Connor. Muliple award winner: Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book * Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children * Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice
Crunch asks: What might happen if the earth's supply of gas runs out? It's a perfect classroom read to spark discussions about energy conservation and the future of our planet.
Dewey Marriss is stuck in a crunch. He never guessed that the gas pumps would run dry the same week he promised to manage the family's bicycle-repair business. Suddenly everyone needs a bike. And nobody wants to wait.
Meanwhile, the crunch has stranded Dewey's parents far up north. It's up to Dewey and his older sister, Lil, to look after their younger siblings and run the bike shop all on their own. To top things off, Dewey discovers that bike parts are missing from the shop. He's sure he knows who's responsible-or does he? Will exposing the thief only make more trouble for Dewey and his siblings?
"Charming and original." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.