Crunch by Leslie Connor

CrunchI liked the premise of this book. Fuel is unavailable. All the cars, and buses and trucks cannot run. The highways are empty. So people start walking and bicycling instead and they use the highways because it’s easiest. Can you imagine walking 22 miles to work? Bicycles become necessities and are in high demand.

Fourteen-year-old Dewey Marriss had been left in charge of his father’s bike shop and his older sister, Lil, left in charge of the house and children while their parents took their yearly trucking vacation together, making deliveries up the coast and enjoying the time together. This year the children had been left in charge rather than getting a sitter because Lil had turned eighteen. But because of the fuel shortage, mom and dad are stuck in Canada with no way to get home.

Dewey and his younger brother Vince work every day in their dad’s bike shop. The five-year-old twins go to camp every day and Lil is supposed to go to art school but that has been cancelled due to the energy crisis. She begins her own special art project using the side of the bike barn as her canvas.

As the gas shortage continues, bad things begin to happen. The book becomes a mystery as parts begin to go missing from the bike shop and the reader wonders who could be stealing from them – their odd neighbor, the man that Dewey befriended on the highway one day, or someone else? It is a portrait of a well-disciplined and loving family and their extended friends and neighbors working with them in tough times. Recommended for grades 5th and up.

Posted by: Fran

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