Guest Reviewer: Amanda & Sendy, UCF Elementary Education Student
Last Stop on Market Street
Author: Matt de la Peña
Illustrator: Christian Robinson
Published January 8, 2015 by Penguin Books
Summary: “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful.”
CJ begins his weekly bus journey around the city with disappointment and dissatisfaction, wondering why he and his family can’t drive a car like his friends. Through energy and encouragement, CJ’s nana helps him see the beauty and fun in their routine.
This beautifully illustrated, emotive picture book explores urban life with honesty, interest, and gratitude.
Last Stop on Market Street is a story about appreciating differences, happiness, and inequity. CJ and his Nana take the bus to its last stop on Market Street every Sunday after Church. On the Sunday this book is set on, CJ begins to wonder why they must wait in the rain for the bus instead of buying a car. Nana enlightens him by giving him different ways of appreciating what they have, what they do in their everyday lives, and all the types of people they meet. The theme of the novel is Nana showing CJ the value in how they live their lives and helping those who need it.
Last Stop on Market Street has won multiple awards and spent time at the number one spot in the New York Times Bestseller List.
About the Author: Matt de la Peña is the #1 New York Times-bestselling. Newbery Medal-winning author of five picture books and six critically acclaimed young adult novels. He was also awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award and received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University. He is currently living in Brooklyn, NY with his family.
About the Illustrator: Christian Robinson has received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for his art in Last Stop on Market Street. He was born in Hollywood, California. He was awarded a Caldecott Honor and the Newbery Medal
Review: Last Stop on Market Street is a stunning contribution to art in children’s literature and the future of book of storytelling. This novel reveals the creative potential of a powerful cross-cultural author-illustrator partnership. The art combined with the theme of the novel embraces the diversity in ourselves and everyday routine but others.
This book is such an amazing book! It is easy to see the bad that goes on in our lives, and things that we do not like, but this book is a great reminder to see the good in those situations that it is difficult to. I would recommend “The last stop on Market Street” to every teacher and parent to read to their children and/or have them read it themselves.
Throughout this book, a little boy named CJ had many questions. He did not like riding the bus or going to the soup kitchen after church and always questioned why he didn’t have certain things. Nana always had a clever response and see’s the brighter side to every situation. CJ learns this from her and begins to see it too allowing him to feel more confident and happier about his situations.
Just as adults need these reminders that your life is just as good as your mindset, it is good to instill it into our children as well. If they grow up feeling like they don’t have enough, it will transfer into adulthood. This is an amazing book that brings an amazing lesson to all ages. There’s beautiful in even the ugliest things
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book is perfect to teach students about acceptance and the importance of helping others in need. As CJ ends his bus ride with his Nana, he goes to work at a soup kitchen which enables him to understand how he gives back to his community.
Also, it would be a great opportunity to use this book in the classroom during group reading, or even partner reading. This book would bring a great opportunity in a group setting because it will allow the students to have discussions. They will be able to discuss what they think about the book, how they feel about the main characters and have the opportunity to express the times that they have felt unhappy. This can now turn into a conversation of how they can see these situations in a better light next time. this will allow the students to sharpen up their critical thinking skills, learn how to have discussions and understand what is like to be open minded.
Since last stop on market Street is the street where the soup kitchen is, this book can also be read during history time to focus on the soup kitchen, how soup kitchens came about, the reasons for them and why people go to them
- Who is telling the story? How do you know?
- How and why does CJ’s mood change throughout the book?
- How do CJ and Nana look at life differently?
- Why do you think Nana volunteers? What does she gain?
- How can you show more gratitude and optimism, like Nana?
- What do we learn about the different settings from the illustrations?
- where was CJ and his Nana coming from in the beginning of the story?
- What animal their Nana used to describe the bus?
- Who were the people that CJ was talking about on the bus?
- What was the name of the bus driver?
- What is on the last stop of Market Street that CJ and his Nana went to?
- Why didn’t CJ like the last stop?
- What did CJ see over the building at the end of the book?
Thank you, Amanda & Sendy, for your reviews!