by Leslie Connor

I picked this one up for the Cybils, and I'm so glad I did.

The premise of the book has provided me with thinking material for the last several weeks. It's about the Mariss family living through a fuel crunch.  The parents are away on their anniversary trip when, all of a sudden, their gas ration coupons are no good to get them home.  Fortunately the five kids at home, including our protagonist Dewey, have got things pretty well covered.  With no fuel available, however, the Mariss Bike Barn is suddenly a booming business.

I loved hearing about how the Mariss kids played the cards they were dealt.  And, of course, I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about what would happen to me in a similar situation.  The book also has a little mystery sub-plot that I liked as well.  I liked that it added tension to the book, but didn't overshadow the drama that is everyday life.  As one of the oldest of 7 kids, I can tell you there's a bit of drama in everyday life when mom and dad aren't home. And yet, Dewey manages to keep it positive, and himself positive.  It's admirable. It's real.

And that's probably the highest praise I can give this book.  It seems real.  When I stopped reading, I had to remind myself that I was back in my own life, and not one of the Mariss kids.  And I wish I was as well prepared for a "crunch" as they are.

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