Audience: Middle Grade/Tween
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Mystery, Humor
Summary: With his parents stranded on the highway by a gas shortage, it is up to 14-year-old Dewey to keep the family bike repair business under control. But with cars out of commission and an influx of damaged bicycles, things get a little out of hand. Especially when items begin to mysteriously disappear from the shop. Plus, Dewey has to help his older sister and younger-by-a-year brother with the 5-year-old twins and keep the farm chores tended to. All five siblings must find a way to work together while their parents are detained and decide which of their friends and neighbors they can rely on.
This is a lovely, humorous book about balancing fun and responsibility, with a bit of a mystery thrown in for good measure. Connor's dialog is light and amusing, and her characters engaging. The Mariss siblings live in a charming world, and each has his or her own distinct, quirky personality. Plus there is a sneaky, crotchety old neighbor that had me snickering and numerous mini-adventures to keep the pages turning. There is also a message of eco-friendliness and sustainability that will appeal to certain readers.