Author: Connor, Leslie
Fourteen-year-old Dewey tries to be responsible by managing the family bicycle repair shop while sharing household and farm duties with his siblings when their parents are stranded far from home.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.30
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 136408
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.60
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 49391
Common Core Standards
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Craft & Structure
Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/15/10)
School Library Journal (05/01/10)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (06/10)
The Hornbook (07/10)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/01/2010 It’s crunch time for the Mariss family. When a critical national fuel shortage strands their vacationing parents far from home, it’s up to Dewey (14) and older sister Lil (18) to serve as surrogate parents to their three younger siblings. Dewey draws double duty, however, because he must also manage the family’s bike-repair shop, and as people have no choice but to rely on bikes for transportation, business is booming. This is mostly manageable until someone throws a figurative sprocket wrench into the spokes by stealing from the shop’s inventory! Is it the creepy old geezer who lives next door? Or maybe the nice young man who’s befriended the family? Or . . . ? Well, it’s a mystery, for sure, but clever Dewey contrives a plan to discover the culprit. The element of uncertainty keeps the pages turning while Connor addresses a timely issue—America’s dependence on fossil fuels—that will provoke classroom discussion and invite further reading. - Copyright 2010 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2010 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 - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2010 The Mariss kids have always been the “embodiment of responsibility,” and when a national fuel shortage strands their parents several hundred miles from home during the pair’s annual truck trip, it’s left to teenagers Lil and Dewey (the book’s narrator) to run the household and take care of their three younger siblings. Dewey is also charged with running the family bike-repair shop while Dad is gone, a task he has more than capably accomplished in the past, but as the fuel crisis grows, an increasing number of people start showing up in droves demanding speedy bike repairs. Dewey and Lil soon find themselves overwhelmed with business, not to mention their already demanding schedule of feeding a family of five, dealing with a cranky and possibly thieving neighbor, and just trying to hold it together until Mom and Dad get home. Like The Penderwicks (BCCB 9/05), this is a sweet story about a tight-knit family that pulls together during a time of crisis, and while sometimes their best intentions go awry, all ends well. The idyllic small-town setting along with its cast of kooky neighbors-friendly almost to the point of cloying-is tempered by the very believable fuel-shortage issue and the nasty behavior it elicits in a few secondary characters. No time period is directly indicated, but there are enough touches of modernity to suggest that this is contemporary, making the fuel crunch an interesting topic for book club or class discussions. Although some kids may not be able to relate to Lil and Dewey’s consuming sense of familial obligation, most will find themselves rooting for the duo to succeed and thus take great satisfaction in the happy ending. KQG - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.