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CRUNCH by Leslie Connor Kirkus Star

CRUNCH

By Leslie Connor

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-169229-1
Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

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)