The Washington Post

Kids get caught in a ‘Crunch’



Age 10 and older. By Leslie Connor.

Many kids have summer jobs. Maybe they water a neighbor’s garden or take care of pets. It’s a good way to earn money and learn responsibility during the long summer months. So 14-year-old Dewey and his older sister, Lil, are ready and willing to operate the family’s bike-repair business while their parents take a special anniversary trip. After all, what could go wrong?

Well, in news that may seem pretty familiar given recent high gas prices, there’s an energy crunch. There’s very little gasoline, and that means that everyone is using bikes and needing them fixed. That puts Dewey in a crunch — big time.

Crunch” author Leslie Connor remembers working during her childhood summers. “I babysat and I worked at a day camp, first as a leader in training and then as a counselor.” She finds summer to be a perfect setting for a book. “For a writer, [summer’s] a deliciously blank page waiting for a story,” she told KidsPost.

Given the timely nature of her book and its focus on the gas crisis, we wondered if Connor had a lesson she wanted kids to get from her novel. “I never set out to give lessons when I write,” she said. “But I think a good story can be inspiring, and I hope ‘Crunch’ leaves everyone with the understanding that small actions equal big impact. . . . Human beings are smart and inventive.”

List of books in the club

How to sign up for the book club

Coming next week: “Absolutely Normal Chaos.”

You might also like: “Libby of High Hopes.”

— Tracy Grant

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