Monday, April 9, 2012

JBA Post #4: Crunch, Leslie Connor

When you hear the word "crunch", you probably think of different things. I personally think of chips. But, this novel by Leslie Connor is about a different kind of crunch - a gas crunch.
The novel is about the Mariss family - a family with five kids - and their experiences during a "crunch" when the country runs out of gas. Mr. Mariss is a truck driver, and he and Mrs. Mariss get stranded away from home when the nation's supply runs out, leaving their five kids to fend for themselves and run the family's bicycle repair shop. As you can imagine, bike's become a lot popular during a gas outage, so the kids have their work cut out for them. 

Dewey Mariss, one of the boys, is the head of the bike shop during his parents' absence, and soon notices that as he and his brother struggle to keep the shop afloat, parts begin to go missing. Dewey tries to figure out who the culprit is without letting his older, bossy sister catch wind of the trouble. He's determined to prove that he can run things on his own, with no help from others. 

I thought this book presented a really interesting scenario. I never think about what would happen if the United States ran out of gas, but Leslie Connor did a great job of presenting what could happen in that situation. It really made me think a lot about that type of situation, and how people would react. In the book, there was a lot of theft and violence as people tried to secure gasoline - I imagine that is pretty much how it would be in real life. 

The only thing I didn't like about the novel was that the Mariss kids were all to perfect. They had little arguments and fights, but for the most part they got along great without any trouble while their parents were gone. I don't think any family - especially one with five kids - is really that perfect! Also, I wish the book had a different cover. I was not looking forward to reading it after looking at the cover art, but I was pleasantly surprised once I began. 

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