Synopses & Reviews
Debbie is wishing something would happen. Something good. To her. Soon. In the meantime, Debbie loses a necklace and finds a necklace (and boy does the necklace have a story to tell), she goes jeans shopping with her mother (an accomplishment in diplomacy), she learns to drive shift in a truck (illegally), she saves a life (directly connected to being able to drive, thus proving something), she takes a bus ride to another town (in order to understand what it feels like to be from "elsewhere"), she meets a boy (who truly is from "elsewhere"), but mostly she hangs out with her friends: Patty, Hector, Lenny, and Phil. Their paths cross. Their stories crisscross. And in Lynne Rae Perkins's remarkable book, a girl and her wish grow up. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white pictures, comics, and photographs by the author.
Winner of the Newbery Medal - New York Times Bestseller - An ALA Notable Book - An ALA Best Book for Young Adults - School Library Journal Best Book - Booklist Editors' Choice - Kirkus Reviews Editors' Choice - Horn Book Fanfare Book - New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
In this acclaimed, award-winning, and timeless national bestseller, Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins explores the crisscrossing lives of four teenagers on the verge of adulthood. The unique format incorporates short vignettes, haiku, Q&As, and illustrations by the author. Written with love and humor, Criss Cross is an unforgettable story of friendship, family, and growing up.
"It's hard to write a book this good. Lynne Rae Perkins makes it seem easy."--Kevin Henkes, New York Times-bestselling author of the Newbery Honor Books Olive's Ocean and The Year of Billy Miller
"Brilliantly captures the adolescent-level Zen that thoughtful kids bring to their assessment of the world."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
"Best of all are the understated moments, often private and piercing in their authenticity, that capture intelligent, likable teens searching for signs of who they are, and who they'll become."--ALA Booklist (starred review)
"Written with humor and modest bits of philosophy, the writing sparkles with inventive, often dazzling metaphors."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Like a lazy summer day, the novel induces that exhilarating feeling that one has all the time in the world."--The Horn Book (starred review)
"A gentle story about a group of childhood friends facing the crossroads of life and how they wish to live it. Young teens will certainly relate."--School Library Journal (starred review)
While wishing for something good to happen to her, Debbie's story criss crosses with those of her friends in this remarkable new book by the author of acclaimed, award-winning "All Alone in the Universe." Illustrations. 17,500.
About the Author
Lynne Rae Perkins is the author of three picture books, The Broken Cat, Clouds for Dinner,
and Home Lovely,
a Boston Globe
/Horn Book Honor Book. Her novel All Alone in the Universe
was named an ALA Notable Book, an ALA Booklist Editor's Choice, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book, and a Smithsonian Magazine
Notable Book for Children. She lives with her family in northern Michigan, where it snows all the time.
In Her Own Words...
"I grew up in a small town not far from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We lived on the raw frontier of a new subdivision, where eighteen small ranch houses sat bravely on eighteen lots with tiny sticks of trees and unpaved driveways. To a child, it was a paradise of uninterrupted backyards with unlimited playmates and extra mothers and fathers available if you should happen to need one. Not to mention woods and a creek right nearby.
"I thought we must be the luckiest people on earth. I remember even liking my age and feeling a little sorry for those born in a year other than 1956.
"As I grew older, it slowly dawned on me that there was a larger world, where there were other opinions and ideas, other ways of doing things. Some of them even seemed better than ours. To my perplexity, my parents were less impressed with this news than I was.
"I was also baffled by some other mysteries: Why didn't football players like smart girls? And how could I pick one career and do it every day for forty years? I received little guidance on the first question, but my guidance counselor suggested that architecture would be a good choice for someone with abilities in art and math. So I gave the "different drummer" speech at graduation and went as far away to college as I could imagine going, to Penn State, which was three and a half hours away by car. After three days, during which I concluded that I wasn't nearly as smart as I had thought I was, I fled in terror to the art department.
"What do you think you'd like to do?" asked the adviser.
"I think I'd like to illustrate children's books," I improvised. He laughed heartily. "Who wouldn't?" he said. He advised me to go for a B.A. in art instead of a B.F.A, because I would probably just get married anyway.
"I went for the B.F.A. and met some wonderful I teachers and friends. New worlds were opened to me. I learned to see beauty in unlikely places. My parents thought I was nuts. I was considered a promising student. My parents wondered how I was going to earn a living. So did 1.
"I went to graduate school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Then I had all sorts of jobs while I waited for my real job, my "me," to pop up. I moved to Boston and worked as a graphic designer. All the while, I was reading, drawing, and sometimes writing.
"My husband, Bill, introduced me to the idea of self-employment. We moved to the north woods of Michigan, where we made rustic furniture and grew Christmas trees. I began to spend a lot of time drawing and painting, and as I did, I found my voice. (Somewhere in here, we had two children, Lucy and Frank.) My ideas started to be stories and illustrations, peopled by those I have known and loved and also by those I meet briefly and whose lives I have to imagine.
"I think making books is a way of having conversations with people. I have been on the reader's side for most of my life. When my first book was reviewed and I realized that a few people besides my mother were actually reading it, I felt lucky to think that I could be on this end of the conversation, too. I still do."