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Last Stop on Market Street

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  10,004 ratings  ·  2,339 reviews
Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal
A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book

A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2015
A Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book of 2015

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he h
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 8th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Kristina According to the Newbery Award website, this award is given "to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for…moreAccording to the Newbery Award website, this award is given "to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." It is usually given to the author of a novel, but that is not a requirement. When we think of awards for picture books, we might think of the Caldecott Award, but that is for the illustrator.(less)
Melinda Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, it may. It be exactly the theme you're looking for, but I think it's close and a great read.

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4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,004 ratings  ·  2,339 reviews

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Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
So--I should be honest and say that this review isn't really about this book as much as it is about my disappointment in the Newbery committee's decision. This is a nice picture book, and it represents all of the underrepresented groups that we're all looking to see in literature for kids. It's a sweet, earnest thing. Maybe a little didactic for my taste. The book takes on a big, difficult idea. And it handles it pretty nicely. For a picture book. For four-year-olds. Up to eight, if you go by th ...more
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids; Parents
Recommended to Carmen by: New York Times Book Review
"Nana, how come we don't got a car?"

"Boy, what do we need a car for? We got a bus that breathes fire, and old Mr. Dennis, who always has a trick for you."

This book is about a black little boy and his grandmother who live in The City.


- A children's book with a black MC that isn't all *puts on a serious voice* "This is an important message."

- A boy and his grandmother spending time together as if this is a normal, everyday thing. That's sweet. You don't get the idea that grandma is
Things I love about this book
1) So many wonderful child friendly moments (raindrops on your nose, older kids with nicer stuff than you)
2) It is set in a diverse neighborhood and city that could be ANY city
3) It is sweet, slow and poetic
4) Vibrant, saturated Keats-like illustrations
5) An awesome grandmother - stylish, thoughtful, and full of love.
6) This would be a great book for a religious setting, since it could be seen that it is Grandmother is motivated by her faith to help other in her com
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A bit to didactic for my taste, but it is undeniably a great tool to encourage many conversations with your child about how diverse people are. My son was endlessly fascinated by the guy covered in tattoos.
Michael Fitzgerald
Jul 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
A lame, ridiculous tale of rose-colored glasses. Look, kid, you are absolutely right. You do live in a dump. If you want to get out of there and find something better, you can. Start by not listening to the platitudes. Go out and find the truth. Hang out with people who will correct your double negatives and your "how come we don't got a car" kind of talk. Pick up some of that trash that is lying on the ground instead of just walking on by.
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Beautiful. Profound. Colorful. And Alive!

This book…this book is poetry! I loved it!

Last Stop on Market Street tells the story of a little boy, CJ, and his Nana riding the bus. We meet and experience personalities, sounds, and smells right along with CJ and his grandmother. We see the world out the window, on the bus, and in the people we meet. From raindrops to music to butterflies to graffiti, CJ asks and wonders about it all as he makes his way through the city. “Why” this? and “How come” that
Lu Benke
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
It no longer surprises me when I am not excited by the books that receive the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott Awards. I am not excited by Last Stop on Market Street--the 2016 Newbery Winner and Caldecott Honor book as well. The illustrations are interesting but I found them predictable. The storyline is sweet and with a great message--you don't have to be rich with money to be rich in other ways. We can use more titles that show how being poor isn't only about pain and suffering, but can be ab ...more
La Coccinelle
Sep 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Nope. This was a definite miss for me. I can't believe it won the Newbery!

I have a feeling that much of this book's premise and intent would go right over kids' heads. Especially when it starts waxing poetic about sunsets and colours and the kid having some sort of eargasm from listening to music on the bus. He's little enough to have to hold his grandmother's hand; the sophistication of his reaction to music probably extends to, "I liked it."

I also couldn't stand Nana. She's basically a virtue-
In the two weeks since the ALA Awards were announced, one very special picture book has suddenly found itself showered with accolades and thrust in the center of attention. This book, which was somewhat overshadowed in the past year, received not only a Caldecott Honor, but - much to the surprise and even shock of many kid lit enthusiasts - the highly coveted 2016 Newbery Medal as well. The book to cause such a stir is Last Stop on Market Street. Written by Matt De La Pena and illustrated by Ch ...more
I have indeed much enjoyed the back and forth dialogue between young CJ and his grandmother. And unlike readers who have been faulting Matt de la Pena for penning their conversations in a non standard American vernacular, as a linguist, I do much appreciate the representation of language as primarily oral and thus and yes not as universally standardised, as this does not only add both colour and authenticity to the narrative of Last Stop on Market Street, but more importantly, it also underlines ...more
Dione Basseri
This book won multiple awards from the American Library Association this year, and some of them I just really don't get. Mostly it's the Newbery Medal, which has pretty much always gone to a book of at least more than 50 mostly-text pages. This is just a standard 32 page picture book, with a few lines of text per page. Not a compelling and fully-developed story like past winners, such as "The Graveyard Book" or "The Higher Power of Lucky." There's been criticism that Newbery books are too hard f ...more
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Enjoyed the bright colors and nice feeling of a young boy with his grandma, but very disappointed that it was chosen for the Newbery. This was not "distinguished" to me. I don't understand why they broke with the tradition of "chapter books"!!
The following quotes taken from the Newbery award page: "The Medal shall be awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children published by an American publisher in the United States in English during
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's a great picture book. However, I'm not happy it won the Newbery Award. There were so many deserving middle grade novels to choose from this year. I'm miffed.
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Matt de la Pena is a literary genius. I pre-ordered this book because I knew it would be excellent, but the story and illustrations blew me away. CJ wonders why he doesn't have a car, and Nana reassures him that they are better off without one. They take an adventure on a bus to a soup kitchen. Nana sees the beauty in life, and her words are powerful. I highly recommend this title for all children.
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
I've been in a little bit of a reading slump and saw this cute little kids book and thought why not. It actually is quite profound and it's message I don't remember kids books being like this besides the velveteen rabbit quite sweet I like to this book.
I'm making it my mission to seek out all the books Christian Robinson has illustrated; I just love his use of color and light and the way he has of creating a world on the page that emphasizes the points being made by the author. That being said, I also love Matt de la Peña's story. Nana and CJ take the bus from church to serve a meal in their neighborhood soup kitchen, and as they travel, Nana encourages CJ to use his eyes and ears to celebrate the world around him: "Sometimes when you're surro ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have been excited to read this book simply for the fact that the cover reminded me of any Ezra Jack Keats book. I embrace that feeling of personal nostalgia that this book brought forth in me as an early reader in the 70s. The inside of the book didn't disappoint with more illustrations reminiscent of Keats...urban life, diversity, lots of color,(loved the tattooed guy on the bus), news print, etc. Kids ask a lot of questions and Matt de la Pena captures the heart of a child in the character o ...more
Jul 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
Tokenizing poor people, people of color, and people with disabilities is part of the problem, not the solution to a lack of diverse literature for young people. This just othered already marginalized populations and it doesn't help how painfully flat and stereotypical the characters all were too. Sad, I was so excited by all the hype... We have enough of an inspiration porn problem with adult lit, don't bring it to kid lit too.
This is a newberry winning young children's book. I didn't know they covered this young literature. It is a good story with lessons in finding the beauty in simple things and being grateful for the present moment. Pretty powerful Grandmother this boy has. Give this a look
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not a Newbery in my humble opinion...
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
On one hand, I am a bit of a purist when it comes to the Newbery award. My all-time professional goal is to be on the Newbery committee, and I remember checking off books on the Newbery poster in the school library when I was in 4th grade. And that's what I believe that the Newbery should be--an excellent narrative for middle grade readers. For some reason, I was much more inclined to accept a middle-grade book (The Invention of Hugo Cabret) winning the Caldecott award than I am a picture book w ...more
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hearkening back to the work of the immortal Ezra Jack Keats Mr. de la Pena has painted a beautiful, gently gritty portrait of the day in the life of one young boy and his Nana in his well deserved Newberry Award winning Last Stop on Market Street.

This is a wonderful book that I read more than once with my son. de la Pena's style may be simple at first glance but the world he draws in wonderfully complex. CJ and Nana catch the local bus after school on route to a destination they know well but CJ
Kristin Linthicum
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Last Stop on Market Street is a fictional, though realistic, story about a young boy named CJ and the trip he takes every Sunday with his grandmother after church. The story tells of the many different types of people CJ meets on the bus, such as the old woman with curlers, the blind man and his dog, the young boys, and the man with the guitar. Each time CJ poses a complaint, such as the rain, the bus ride, or about his lack of music and headphones, his grandmother is able to spin the situat ...more
David Schaafsma
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
The whole family will read all these Goodreads Children's Illustrated book nominees for 2015 and rate all of them.

I initially reviewed this in the summer of 2015 (see below) and thought it was just okay. I was flying through a lot of books and read this one too fast, initially. But this is a fine book about a grandmother whose family can't afford a car who helps her grandson see the beauties of the city as they ride the bus. The writing is strong, the art is splashy and colorful, and we learn s
Feb 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book is kind of a mess. There's a running theme of seeing beauty in the dirt and grime and mundane things of the world, but the emotional climax of the book seems to be a weird dream sequence about the magic of music. Which doesn't really change anything, because the whiny main character goes right back to whining afterwards. A page at the end of the book starts with a pronoun referencing an antecedent that was only mentioned once at the beginning of the book, which makes it feel like a pag ...more
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Blah. I don't really think this book makes sense. In the beginning Nana mentions the friends from the soup kitchen. They are never mentioned again until, after many pages and other interactions, including a (supposedly?) climactic musical dream sequence that has no effect on CJ whatsoever, they are once again introduced. With a pronoun. I thought I had accidentally missed a page because I had no idea to whom the "their" was referring to. Does this bug anyone else? Why did this win the Newbery?

Jan 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This is the 2016 Newbery winner? Proof that we are living in an era when "political correctness" trumps all - a good story, great writing, even memorable images have all gone by the wayside, in favor of a picture book glorifying childhood in a dismal ghetto .

On closer examination, this book is not really even politically correct. It appears to be celebrating poverty, deprivation and discrimination with no hope for a better life, as the grandmother responds to all the little boy's observations o
Mississippi Library Commission
Last Stop on Market Street is an inspirational and heartwarming picture book about an ordinary Sunday for CJ and his grandma. As they go about their normal routine--church, walk, bus stop, bus ride, walk, soup kitchen--they encounter other people who have more (and less) than they do. Each time CJ asks his grandma why the two of them don't have a convenience that other people do, she gives him an upbeat answer explaining how rich they already are. The bright illustrations perfectly complement th ...more
Karen Arendt
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is such a wonderful story that truly shows how the youngest generation differs so much from the oldest generation. A young grandson complains out loud about not having things like a car and a iPod that other kids have. His grandmother points out all the ways life is still full without those things. She shows her grandson the beauty in simple things and in doings or others. Kind and not preachy this is a story for all ages that will generate discussion about what is truly important.
Livia Blackburne
I don’t often read picture books, but picked this one up since it won the Newbury. It’s a beautiful book, and a prime example of what people miss out on when they dismiss children’s books as only for children. The message of gratefulness and seeing the beauty in everything really struck a chord with me. Lovely and heartwarming.
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Matt de la Peña is the New York Times best-selling, Newbery-medal-winning author of six young adult novels and four picture books. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific, where he attended school on a full athletic scholarship for basketball. de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. He teaches creative writing and ...more
“Sometimes when you're surrounded by're a better witness for what's beautiful.” 20 likes
“Some people watch the world with their ears.” 3 likes
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