Monday, July 26, 2010

Crunch by Leslie Connor

Fourteen year-old Dewey is in a crunch. Actually his whole family is in a crunch - all because of another crunch - a fuel crunch.

Crunch, the book, is a great read! It is a mystery - who is stealing bike parts from the family bicycle shop? Can Dewey catch the thief? It is a what if story - what if a fuel crisis stranded your parents several hundred miles away from home and left you and your siblings to take care of both themselves and the bicycle shop? And it is realistic fiction - older sister Lil is eighteen, but it is a lot of responsibility for her and Dewey to take care of the family farm, the bicycle shop, and their younger siblings.

Things do start to get a little scary as well. The fuel crisis is causing food and other necessities to disappear from store shelves. Cars stop going up and down the highway next to their home. The highways are filed with people walking and bicycling. Suddenly lots of people need their bikes fixed just to get around. Dewey and his slightly younger brother Vince are swamped with bike repairs. And someone is breaking into their shop and stealing not only valuable bike parts but also the money they make for their work. This is not turning out to be the summer vacation anyone planned on.

I really enjoyed the family story in Crunch as well. Everybody is trying but they are still kids and they are under a lot of pressure. And I really like their small family farm as well - a big garden, fruit trees, chickens, goats and sheep. Hmm - I wonder whose farm that sounds like? Click here to find out!

Leslie Connor is a very good writer of realistic fiction. Waiting for Normal won lots of awards for children's literature and I predict Crunch will as well. Click here to read an interview with Leslie Connor and find out just where some of her ideas for Crunch came from. Meanwhile, I'm going to make sure my bicycle is in good working order. You never know when you might really need it . . .