Crunch

Crunch

4.6 25
by Leslie Connor
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

…  See more details below

Overview

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?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
The ability to get into a car and drive anywhere is often taken for granted, but in this novel, readers are taken not too far into the future to a time where there are severe gas restrictions and occasionally no available gas at all. Dewey Mariss and his siblings find themselves in this situation when they learn that their parents are stranded at the Canadian border trying to make their way home during a summer where people have turned to bicycles as a real means for getting around. Dewey takes responsibility for his father's side business—a bicycle repair shop—and knows the thrill of pride when he and his brother Vince are able to handle things even though their dad is away. When parts begin to disappear from the shop and people bring more bikes to "The Bike Barn" than the two brothers can possible handle, however, Dewey and his older sister, Lil, clash over what is in the best interests for the five Mariss children while their parents are away. Nevertheless, Dewey is resolved to do what is best for the family and the Bike Barn, including solving the mystery of who is taking the parts and stealing bikes. The characters in this story are well developed and their reactions to the various challenges they face ring true. This book should be a favorite with younger readers. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Mom and Dad take an annual anniversary drive up the New England coast for a week, and this year, they let 18-year-old Lil and 14-year-old Dewey hold down the fort while they're gone. In an all-too-plausible scenario, though, the national fuel shortage hits crunch level, and there is no gasoline to be had. For the first several days that their parents are stranded near the Canadian border, nobody panics: the older kids get the five-year-old twins to summer camp each day, and Dewey and his younger brother, Vince, keep their dad's bicycle-repair shop running smoothly. But when cars can't run, the townspeople rely on bikes, and as days turn into weeks, Dewey is overwhelmed with the number of repairs coming in and with the parental responsibilities that he and Lil are sharing. And when parts start disappearing and it becomes evident that a petty thief is on the loose, things get even more complicated. Not wanting to worry their parents or admit that they are in over their heads, Dewey and Lil initially resist efforts by neighbors to help. It is only when things reach the breaking point that they both come to realize that there is no shame in trusting in others. While Connor has created a cast of quirky characters and a timely dilemma, she never fully engages readers the way she did in Waiting for Normal (HarperCollins, 2008). Even with Dewey's first-person narration, relationships come across as a little too good to be true, and the story never quite loses a subtle hint of didacticism.—Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Readers are thrust immediately into the trials and tribulations of 14-year-old Dewey Mariss and his family. His parents are away from home, unable to return because of a gasoline shortage. Running their small family business, the Bike Barn, with his younger brother and helping older sister Lil look after the five-year-old twins keeps Dewey plenty busy, especially since the shortage means that more people are depending on their bicycles. Throw in a sneaky thief, a cranky neighbor, some miscellaneous farm animals and a few minor adventures, and there's plenty to fill the 300-plus pages. Connor keeps things moving merrily along, however, and readers will enjoy going along for the (brisk) ride. Characters are colorful but believable, dialogue crisp and amusing. The New England setting is attractively realized, and the underlying energy crisis treated seriously but not sensationally. Perhaps things wrap up a mite too tidily, but Dewey deserves a break, and the whole family is so engaging that anything less than the happy ending would be disappointing indeed. Charming and original. (Fiction. 10-14)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061692345
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/27/2012
Pages:
330
Sales rank:
410,581
Product dimensions:
5.26(w) x 7.44(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Leslie Connor is the author of several award-winning books for children, including Waiting for Normal, winner of the ALA Schneider Family Book Award, Crunch, Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel, and Dead on Town Line, a young adult novel in verse. She lives with her family in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >