Parent reviews for Criss Cross

Common Sense says

Lyrical tale of small-town teens in a '60s summer.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 13 reviews
Adult Written byderpid October 9, 2018


to much sex and other stuff

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of an infant, 2, 6, and 10-year-old Written byAG Fan Parent May 6, 2013

Beautifully written. So why isn't it likable?

This book is definitely what Common Sense describes it as-depth with no plot. This book is beautifully written, with a lot of truth, morals, and values tucked in. Yet it's virtually wasted, because no middle schooler is going to get past about Chapter 5. The book is hard to follow, and weird at times. The end is less then satisfactory, with a very real-life-and depressingly boring-interpretation of middle school relationships. The only thing my daughter-and me, too-liked about it was two quotes, the one on the cover (she wished something would happen, something good, to her etc), and the one on the back (she was thinking the grass really could be greener on the other side of the fence. It depended on who was standing in the grass. Maybe you had to go take a look). Overall, not a good choice. As an adult, you might find it valuable, but no kid will get through it.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byElvenfoot April 24, 2012

Didn't like, but prove me wrong

I feel dumb, because I am a teacher and should be on board with medal winners--but I didn't like this book at all. It was slow, dull, and lacking in much culmination of anything--which I believe was by the author's design, making it worthy of deeper understanding. Still, though I did sense philosophical value worthy of some discussion, it was obscure and not something I'd be interested in analyzing and discussing with kids; there are much better books to read for these purposes.

I do not see why it was worthy of an award at all, much less publication, BUT I have been proven wrong before about art. Sometimes things are not visible in art with the first experience of it, so I would be open to learning why others like it so much and be persuaded to the opposite opinion.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Adult Written byLayneE September 20, 2010

Nothing really happens, but don't let that stop you!

This is an excellent way to introduce young readers to Criticism and post modern works. While some readers may dislike the book because there is no big climax, "Criss Cross" is a work with very relatable characters that any tween can understand. While anyone older than 15 may find this book boring, it'd probably be due to their age and how the book so accurately portrays them. There is such thing as being too close to a subject!

Consider this book if you're looking to talk about the 1970s, about growing up, or teachers, use this post-modern work as a great introduction. So what if nothing really happens? Isn't that an accurate portrayal of real life?
Parent of a 11-year-old Written bylrthomp April 9, 2008

A truly wonderful work of literature

Set in the 1970s, the story concerns a girl and boy whose paths cross as they embark into adolescence. Two things stood out for me about this book. 1. The language is spare and perfect, and the voice perfectly captures the mind of a twelve-year old, trying to grasp the big picture from the handful of clues their brief life has presented them, so far. 2. For once, a story about tweens or teens in which none of the adults are behaving badly. No addictions, alcoholism, abuse, neglect, intrusion, etc etc. The parents are somewhat peripheral to the kids' lives, as is appropriate for their age, but they know they are there for them. There is an overall sense that life is confusing and plain weird sometimes, but in the end, things work out.

Kids may be put off at first by the introspective mode of the storytelling and the somewhat slow pace (and alternation between narrators), but soon they will find themselves drawn into this world. Some readers (adult and kid) have complained initially that "nothing happens," but by the end you realize that a lot has happened. This is a wonderful book that will stay with any reader for a long time.
Adult Written byjoysoccer April 9, 2008

Great book about early teens finding who they are

This is a great book for ages 11+ it's a little confusing..but in the end it is worth it! I enjoyed reading this book and relating to the characters..great book.