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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,517 ratings  ·  264 reviews
Children's Book and Play Review, July 2010
Audio CD
Published 2010 by Recorded Books
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(showing 1-30 of 2,742)
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Friends, I hate to say it, but I wasn’t 100% sold on Crunch. I KNOW. I can see you all out there, Goodreads reviewers, with your five stars and your horrified expressions, wondering what the hell is wrong with me.

But there were two issues that I could not get over, and while it totally won’t affect me recommending Crunch to nine-year-olds, it affected my personal enjoyment of the novel.

Issue the first: I really need Leslie Connor to start using different identifiers.

“Lemons!” I said. “You have
What if gasoline ran out? I mean RAN OUT? As in, you are stuck where ever your last tank took you? This is what happened to Dew's parents, and suddenly he and his siblings are on their own for the foreseeable future in a world where cars can no longer take you where you need to go.

Luckily, they are a resourceful bunch - and Dew and his brother happen to have a knack for fixing bikes. In a world where cars are useless, bikes very quickly become a hot commodity. Between keeping the house running w
Leslie Connor forgive me; I sometimes forget how awesome you are. It's nice to rely on an author. To know that you can trust them to write book after book that isn't crap. That's true on the adult side of things, but I feel it's particularly important to remind folks of this on the children's literary side as well. When a parent or a teacher or a librarian discovers a writer that fills a gap in their collection and fills it well, they're allowed to go a little nuts. I went a little nuts when I r ...more
I truly enjoyed this book. Connor has created a very love-able character in Dewey. Dewey's not perfect but he's hard working and learns from his mistakes. The characters in Crunch are quirky and humorous providing for a fun read about a serious situation. I doubt that people in real life would adapt to gas pumps running dry as well as the characters in this book. However, one can hope.

I have to admit that I did find Dewey's older sister Lil, to be rather bossy and somewhat annoying. Poor Dewey w
I'm not really a bike person. Nor am I really an outdoors person. I'm defiantly not a sports person. Basically, I'm just a reading person. But this book gives some really interesting bike info and even I enjoyed!

There are a lot of exhilarating parts that you don't usually see in realistic fiction.

The premise itself is very unique; Middle-grade fiction with the slightest hint of dystopian.

It started a little slow, and a few of the characters were flat.

The mystery was a tad predictable, but I ca
I thought that the premise of this book was so clever - all of the gas pumps in the Northeastern U.S. are dry and those wishing for transportation must resort to walking or riding a bike. The visual imagery of highways abandoned by cars and trucks are now filled with orderly rows of pedestrians and cyclists; hence, the "Crunch". I enjoyed the ingenuity of Dewey Mariss and his siblings, living off their land, so to speak, having plenty of garden vegetables, fresh eggs and goat's milk to make due ...more
Blog Review:

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Audience: Middle Grade/Tween
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Mystery, Humor

Summary: With his parents stranded on the highway by a gas shortage, it is up to 14-year-old Dewey to keep the family bike repair business under control. But with cars out of commission and an influx of damaged bicycles, things get a little out of hand. Especially when items begin to mysteriously disappear from the shop. Plus, Dewey has to help his older si
R Yao
Dewey Marriss is stuck. No one would have guessed that the oil wells
would run dry the week his parents went on their annual anniversary
trip. Now Dewey is stuck in the middle of the crunch, managing his
families small bike shop. And with no fuel everyone is on their bike
and is having problems. To add to that, he and his older sister Lil
have to watch after their younger siblings. Week after week the Bike
Barn becomes more and more crowded, and Dewey becomes aware that bike
parts are being stolen. Wit
Leslie Preddy
Oct 11, 2012 Leslie Preddy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grades 3-8
Leslie Connor’s Crunch enthralls the reader with its ability to move quickly while still giving careful attention to detail. When Dewey’s parents get stuck away from home because there is no oil, Dewey and his siblings become the “embodiment of responsibility” and face each new day determined to make it until their parents come home. Dewey is quickly overwhelmed with the commitment of running the Bike Barn, his father’s side-business bike shop, as the masses turn to bicycles since there is no fu ...more
Fourteen-year-old Dewey and his four siblings make do at home while their traveling parents are stuck far away due to a sudden, total fuel crisis. Eighteen-year-old artist Lil bears responsibility fairly well, even while managing to create an ambitious mural on the barn. Dewey and brother Vince handle the goat milking, egg collecting, and the family's modest bike repair shop located in the barn, while they all manage the five-year-old twins.

I love the hobby farm setting in this timely story. An
I probably would have given this a 3.5 if that were an option. The basic plot of this book is that the five kids in the Marriss family (ranging in age from 5 to 18) are left home while their parents are away for an anniversary/work trip (their dad is a truck driver and their mom goes with him for a week-long trip). While their parents are gone, the gasoline supply becomes non-existent keeping the parents away from home even longer. Bikes become the main source of transportation for the family as ...more
Very timely. The pumps run dry at the beginning of the summer stranding Dewey's parents up in Maine with an empty fuel tank and no easy way to get home. Fortunately, the family fixes bikes on the side and suddenly people are beating a path to their door as bikes become a popular form of transportation; imagine bikes and pedestrians using the interstate. Dewey does his best to keep up with the demand for repairs but it starts to overwhelm him. Meanwhile, parts are disappearing from the workshop, ...more
While the fuel shortage premise might make this sound like a story that grapples with political and environmental issues, all of that takes a back seat to the story of how one family of kids manages on their own for a summer. With their parents stuck out of town without a way to get home, the kids have to decide how much responsibility to shoulder and how much they should "be the parents" (as Dewey and Lil say to each other). Throw in a little bit of a mystery, a cranky next-door neighbor, and a ...more
Dec 24, 2010 Carmine rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle graders
Five kids on their own after global oil shortage strands their parents two states away. Their little family bike repair shop is suddenly swamped with bikes to work on in this post oil world. Bikes take over the highway! (which is why I couldn't really file this one under dystopia). Yay! lots of talk of bike repair.

Ok, by 'kids' I should clarify the oldest sister is 18 and the Marriss kids are a pretty capable lot. They aren't homeschooled but the way they pitch together and tackle things confide
When the Marriss family is separated by a modern day gas crunch, the oldest of five children must "be the parents" while mom and dad are stranded on the other side of the country. Lil, at eighteen, does a fair job of being mommy to the five-year-old twins while fourteen-year-old Dew and his mechanical genius brother Vince run the family bike repair shop. It isn't long, however, before Dew and Vince begin to feel overwhelmed. After all, when there is no gasoline at the pumps, what are people goin ...more
Just when Dewy a 14 year old boy tells his parents he will be in charge of the Bike shop that his father runs his parents are stuck in a "crunch". There is no diesel fuel and everything is being rationed. His parents are stuck up north far from home. Dewy and his older sister Lil are in charge of taking care of their 5 year old twin siblings plus keeping everything afloat on the homefront. The bike shop becomes busier than ever and Dewy does not want to disappoint anyone and tries to do it all w ...more
This book was about the kids are in a bike shop and they have to repaire bikes and sell bike and repaint them they try hard they suck seed on what they do. they where alone with there grandparent and there mom and are at a diffrent place and they or might not make it to where there kids are because all the gas stations have no more gas because of the health enspecter because they did not keep things clean and sanatized.The main charecter in lil and he is in charge of the bike shop. On of the guy ...more
Wandering Librarians
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Way back in the 70’s there was a gas crisis and we had to ration fuel. There were long lines, and people were given specific days they could go to the pump. I remember this. Just getting to work was a big problem. People were pretty much stuck at home. I made the mistake of going to Napa and getting stuck up there waiting in line for a gas pump to open. It could happen again, and even worse.

This book imagines a time when the gas ran dry and everyone rode bikes. The highway was a a huge bike path
Victoria Whipple
Dewey and his four siblings have to hold down the homestead while his parents are stuck hours away from home. The became stranded when all the gas and diesel fuel ran out. The kids --ages 5 to 18)--are self-sufficient thanks to chores they have been responsible for since a young age. But, being able to take care of themselves and the home and the family bike business does not take away the desire to have their parents back home. Life has changed greatly, not just for the kids, but for everyone. ...more
Christina Dudley
Another book on CD for the road trip. We probably would have finished, if we hadn't reached home, although it was moving pretty leisurely through the first fifteen chapters. The country has run out of gas, leaving the Marriss (sp?) parents stranded far away and their resourceful five children on their own to run the family bike shop and deal with life. I must be such a plebe because I thought the 18YO sister should have been working harder, instead of painting a mural on the barn, but presumably ...more
Aside from being a great family story and an interesting sort of gentle dystopia, this really made me want to pull my bike out of the spare room and get back to riding.
Ellen Brandt
Realistic fiction, with mystery and humor; typical for many middle grade books... but THIS one adds in "coming of age" elements and a touch of "Dystopian Future"
A perfect transitional book for those not quite ready for the "young adult" collection.
14 year old Dewey Marris and his 4 siblings (Lily-18, Vincent-13, Angus-5, Eva-5) are left alone when their parents are stranded due to a fuel crisis. Although kindly adults offer to help, the kids are determined to be self-sufficient. But it isn't eas
Debbie McNeil
Interesting premise, too wordy for ele., too slow for middle. Do authors give ANY thought to intended audience?????
Angela Kidd Shinozaki
Great on audio. The image of an autoless highway teamed with bikes and walkers sticks in my head.
Dewey and his siblings must get along without their parents when there is a gas shortage and their parents are stranded in Canada. The family runs a bicycle repair business and they are swamped with work when people must get around on their bikes. Dewey is 14, has an 18 year old sister, another teenage brother and 5 year old twins. They keep things going until their parents get back and even manage to solve the mystery of a bicycle thief. While I liked the story, Dewey and his siblings seem to b ...more
Mason Smith
It was a great book, i loved it!!
Crunch was a refreshing book club read that my friends and I had the pleasure of getting from our local Library. I find it hard putting my opinion of this book into words since my opinion is more about the feeling this book oozed.
I loved imagining those kids keeping things together by themselves. Not that I didn’t feel bad for their situation, but since I have five siblings of my own it made me think of what the six of us would do in such a situation. That alone had been absorbed and emotionally
Becky B
Gas pumps and driving cars are such an everyday part of life that the Marriss family never really thought, 'What if the pumps run dry?' But that is just what has happened. There's no more gas to be had, and the Marriss parents are stuck on vacation. Lil, Dewey, Vince, Eva and Angus aren't too worried. After all, Lil is eighteen, and Dewey and Vince are teenagers too. Eva and Angus are only five, but they aren't too much of a handful, and they're spending the mornings all week at Sea Camp. And De ...more
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Dewey is in charge of Marriss’s Bike Barn while his parents are out of town. Dewey doesn’t really mind. He likes working on bikes. His little brother Vince helps out too. Vince is actually the one with mad mechanic skills but he’s kind of shy, so he relies on Dewey to handle the customers. Between the two of them, the cheat sheets their Dad left and their list of 8 Rules for Bicycle Repair, they’ve got the shop covered and their big sister Lil can take care of everything else, including the twin ...more
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From the author's website:

My life began suddenly (you can even ask my mother) in an antique farmhouse outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I was born right on the family room floor ~ no time to get to the hospital! I swear, I’ve been in a hurry ever since.

When I was in fourth grade we moved to a neighborhood full of kids outside of Schenectady, New York. My Dad worked for a company that sold some of the fi
More about Leslie Connor...
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