Author: Leslie Connor
Age Range: 10 and up
Note: This book will be release May 2010
Crunch is part mystery, part realistic fiction, and part science fiction but in an entirely realistic way. It's about a complete lack of fuel and how suddenly bikes are a lot more valuable. And with so many bikes on the road, you're going to need a repair shop. Dewey Marriss's dad runs a bike repair shop, but he got stuck up in Canada with Dewey's mom. So that leaves Dewey and his four siblings to run the place, repairing bikes, dealing with customers, doing farm chores and tolerating each other and a kleptomaniac neighbor, which they manage to do wonderfully, remaining cheerful under stress for the sake of the five-year-old twins, Eva and Angus. But when a surprising thief is caught stealing parts from the Bike Barn, they're featured on television, bringing in customers they never wanted. Soon everyone is under too much strain and they snap. Can Dewey bring everyone back together again before their much awaited parents return home?
With an engaging (although a bit confusing), beginning and distinctive characters, Crunch is a book that most readers will find enjoyable. I wish that Leslie Connor had said more about why there was a lack of fuel, but doing so might have made the book sound preachy. I was really struck by how much fun it would be to bike down the freeway with other riders, hardly worrying about traffic!