Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena


last stop on market street

Last Stop on Market Street
Author: Matt de la Peña
Illustrator: Christian Robinson
Published: January 8, 2015 by Putnam Juvenile

Summary: Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.

This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.

Ricki’s Review: Matt de la Peña is a literary genius. I pre-ordered this book because I knew it would be excellent, but the story and illustrations blew me away. CJ wonders why he doesn’t have a car, and Nana reassures him that they are better off without one. They take an adventure on a bus to a soup kitchen. Nana sees the beauty in life, and her words are powerful. This is a story about giving back and appreciating what we have. My son and I have read this book dozens of times since we received it. My mother-in-law and husband also enjoyed reading it with him!

Kellee’s Review: This book is a celebration. A celebration of the little things we sometimes miss, of diversity, of kindness, of family, and of beauty. Matt de la Peña’s story is well written and beautifully illustrated with amazing collages by Christian Robinson. Although I haven’t read it with Trent yet, I feel that this book is an important one for him and all kids to read. 

Teacher’s Tool For Navigation: What a perfect book for a field trip on a bus to the soup kitchen? Students can describe the people and things they see. This would also make a great homework assignment. Alternatively, teachers might ask students to go to a public place with their parents and describe the people and things they see—they should be instructed to find the beautiful things in their environment.

Discussion Questions: What is Nana’s attitude about life? How do her words show this?; What kinds of things does CJ see on his trip?; How do the illustrations make this story stand out?

We Flagged: “The outside air smelled like freedom, but it also smelled like rain, which freckled CJ’s shirt and dripped down his nose.”

From Matt de la Pena’s website


Read This If You Loved:  Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo, Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, A Bus Called Heaven by Bob Graham, Harlem by Walter Dean Myers

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Penguin for providing a copy for review**

3 thoughts on “Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena”

  1. Just read this jewel last week. It’s warm and fuzzy and gritty all at once, and the art sparkles. Lots for kids to talk and write about, including what they see in the course of their own rides/walks to school each day. Love.


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