Jess's Reviews > Crunch

Crunch by Leslie Connor
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's review
Sep 06, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: juv
Read in September, 2010

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 lot of bikes, and this turns into a great story.

Dewey narrates the story, and he's the kind of narrator who pulls you in close and lets you feel all the tension and the weight of running the bike repair shop. The younger kids add some comic relief and Lil, the oldest, alternates between being the responsible one and spending her days creating a barn-sized mural. Strangely, she's the only one of the older three who ends up having much time to call her own, and I started to wonder why Dewey didn't resent that more. On the other hand, Dewey is stuck in the repair shop because that's his choice - he doesn't want to turn anyone away. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how the kids would solve their problems, with a little help from the community and some creative thinking. It also really made me want to go for a bike ride, so watch out.

I'd peg this as a great middle school read, based on the age of the characters and the way they deal with responsibilities, but there's nothing here that would be inappropriate for a strong younger (unless you count the occasional "hell").
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Eva (new)

Eva Uran What's so wrong with saying "hell?" People say it all the time. Better than using the f-word.

Jess Well, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. But sometimes it's handy to note things that might bother certain types of library patrons as I recommend books.

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