Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Book Review: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins (2005)

In the 1970s, Debbie, Patty, Hector, Lenny, and Phil are young teens looking ahead to the future. They begin the summer all together, listening to a radio show in a truck belonging to Lenny's father, but soon each is on his or her own path. At the end of the summer, when they all come together again, each one has matured just a bit, moving one step closer to adulthood.

There is nothing I loved more as a kid than books about everyday life. While some readers might complain that the events of this coming-of-age Newbery winner are too mundane, I am utterly content with how perfectly ordinary everything is. I could relate to so many of the thoughts and emotions of the characters, and I appreciated that the story was focused on interior lives rather than external action. I know the theory is that kids don't read books where nothing happens, but I absolutely did, and I know there must be others like me. 

Criss Cross is the perfect summer read for an introspective kid. It has lovely writing, believable characterizations, and though it's set on the '70s, it isn't by any means inaccessible to contemporary readers. It's also the companion a lesser-known but equally well-written novel, All Alone in the Universe. 

No comments:

Post a Comment