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Last Stop on Market Street Hardcover – January 8, 2015
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—After church on Sundays, CJ and his nana wait for the bus. It's a familiar routine, but this week CJ is feeling dissatisfied. As they travel to their destination, the boy asks a series of questions: "How come we gotta wait for the bus in all this wet?" "Nana, how come we don't got a car?" "How come we always gotta go here after church?" CJ is envious of kids with cars, iPods, and more freedom than he has. With each question, Nana points out something for CJ to appreciate about his life: "Boy, what do we need a car for? We got a bus that breathes fire." These gentle admonishments are phrased as questions or observations rather than direct answers so that CJ is able to take ownership of his feelings. After they exit the bus, CJ wonders why this part of town is so run-down, prompting Nana to reply, "Sometimes when you're surrounded by dirt, CJ, you're a better witness for what's beautiful." The urban setting is truly reflective, showing people with different skin colors, body types, abilities, ages, and classes in a natural and authentic manner. Robinson's flat, blocky illustrations are simple and well composed, seemingly spare but peppered with tiny, interesting details. Ultimately, their destination is a soup kitchen, and CJ is glad to be there. This is an excellent book that highlights less popular topics such as urban life, volunteerism, and thankfulness, with people of color as the main characters. A lovely title.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN
Praise for LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET:
Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal
A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book
A New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2015
An NPR Best Book of 2015
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2015
A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2015
A 2015 Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Horn Book Best Book of 2015
BookPage’s “2015’s First Must-Read Picture Book”
The Huffington Post Best Overall Picture Book of 2015
A Boston Globe Best Book of 2015
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2015
Chosen for the New York Public Library’s 100 Books for Reading & Sharing List
A Miami Herald Best Children’s Book of 2015
A Raleigh News & Observer Best Children’s Book of 2015
An Atlanta Parent Best Book of 2015
A San Francisco Chronicle Holiday Gift Guide Pick
A Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature “Best Multicultural Books of 2015” Pick
A Scholastic Instructor 50 Best Summer Book
Chosen for the ALSC 2015 Summer Reading List
A Horn Book Summer 2015 Reading List Pick
Chosen for School Library Journal’s 2015 Top 10 Latin Books List
A Kansas City Star Thanksgiving 2015 Roundup Pick
A Winter 2014-2015 Kids' Indie Next Pick
2015 E.B. White Read Aloud Award Finalist
Nominated for the 2016 Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award
Nominated for the 2016 Kentucky Bluegrass Award
Four Starred Reviews!
“It’s also the warmth of their intergenerational relationship that will make this book so satisfying, for both young readers and the adults sharing it with them.”—The New York Times Book Review
“That material poverty need not mean spiritual or imaginative poverty becomes beautifully clear in the quietly moving pages of ‘Last Stop on Market Street,” a picture book by Matt de la Peña filled with Christian Robinson’s vibrant naïf illustrations.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Matt de la Peña’s warmhearted story is musical in its cadences…Christian Robinson’s angular, bright illustrations are energetic and vibrant... [A] celebration of the joys of service, the gifts of grandmothers and the tenderness that the city can contain.”—The Washington Post
“The sharp illustrations — in bold, and cheerful primaries — get CJ’s restless energy and curious postures exactly right. The voices of CJ and his grandmother carry the story along in subtle point and counterpoint so that at this book’s quiet close you feel like you’ve been listening to a song.”—The Boston Globe
“This celebration of cross-generational bonding is a textual and artistic tour de force.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Like still waters, de la Peña and Robinson’s story runs deep. It finds beauty in unexpected places, explores the difference between what’s fleeting and what lasts, acknowledges inequality, and testifies to the love shared by an African-American boy and his grandmother.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“De la Peña and Robinson here are carrying on for Ezra Jack Keats in spirit and visual style. This quietly remarkable book will likely inspire questions… it will also have some adult readers reaching for a tissue.”—The Horn Book, starred review
“The urban setting is truly reflective, showing people with different skin colors, body types, abilities, ages, and classes in a natural and authentic manner… A lovely title.”—School Library Journal
“It’s not often that you see class addressed in picture books in ways that are subtle and seamless, but Last Stop on Market Street, the affectionate story of a young boy and his grandmother, does just that…This ode to gratitude is 2015’s first must-read picture book.”—BookPage
“If Robinson doesn't win this year's Caldecott, then next year could be the one with his name on it. His remarkable Last Stop on Market Street (with Matt de la Peña), is an early favorite for the best picture book of 2015.”—Huffington Post Books
“With the precision of a poet, Matt de la Peña chronicles a boy's heartwarming Sunday morning routine with his nana. Christian Robinson's uplifting palette and culturally diverse cast brightens the rainy-day backdrop.”—Shelf Awareness, starred review
"Bright colors and streamlined shapes keep the urban setting and its denizens cheerful, emphasizing the positive message.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“This story is full of figurative language and the art provides a distinct contemporary feel to support this urban story.”—SLC
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Top Customer Reviews
This book was recommended by a retired children's librarian. Our family has served at a Community Meal for more than 40 years. We also ride buses to many of our destinations, including our church and our Community Meal Program, so that alone inspired us to purchase the book. The storyline is believable, and the bus riders and the guests of the meal program treated with dignity, given names, mention of their special interests. The relationship between the grandmother and grandson touched our hearts, too. The illustrations delighted us. ONE of the reasons that we purchased this particular book is because one of our grandsons is currently involved with a cub scout service project, going to the Community Meal Program to serve the meal with us during the coming months. He will receive a copy of this book, too.
My 3 year olds love this book. Although they are pretty advanced, it is a bit over their head's. Discussing the content as I read it to them had been helpful.
Pros: The text is brief, but the writing is beautifully descriptive (“The outside air smelled like freedom, but it also smelled like rain, which freckled CJ’s shirt and dripped down his nose.”). Nana is an inspiring character who gently points out the good in everything without being annoying.
Cons: The guy with the tattoos really should give up his seat on the bus to Nana.