Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt de la Peña

Other authorsChristian Robinson (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2015

Call number



G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (2015), Edition: 1, 32 pages


A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Whisper1
This book has the prestigious honor of winning both the 2016 Caldecott honor and the 2016 Newbery medal.

Many of us have a friend, or perhaps a relative who always, without fail, sees the negative side of life in all their interactions. These are the people who cannot look at the sun without waiting
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for the rain, who cannot be happy for what they have, instead, they want more, more, more. These are the people who complain about their job, forgetting that the one who is listening has heard this black tale regarding every job the moaner has ever had.

Personally, as I grow older, I don't have this type of person in my life. Limitations of energy has a positive effect in teaching me that I need to be with those who are happy and radiate sunshine opposed to the energy drainers who suck the life out of me.

C.J. is such a child, the black t shirt and pants kind of guy who is always, ever finding fault. He is the one who is envious of all -- the one who covets what others have while failing to see all he owns. The one who sees the dirt and not the bright rainbow.

Luckily, C.J. has a loving, patient, kind grandmother who, without admonishment turns his black comments into gold. Throughout the story, C.J. laments his life, the fact that he has to ride a bus because his family doesn't own a car. For every complaint, his grandmother matches it with a positive statement.

At the end of the book, we learn that the last stop on Market Street is a shelter where the poor are fed.

As I closed the book, I wondered if the C.J.'s of the world, even when confronted with a different hopeful reality, can manage to get outside of their darkness. Optimistically, I sure do hope so.
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LibraryThing member mackenzie1992
This book is wonderful to teach students that not everybody has the same routine, but everybody can still appreciate the beauty of the world around them.
LibraryThing member hart0521
Book is about a young boy and his Nana who take a bus to help out at a soup kitchen. During the trip, the little boy asks his grandmother a million questions. He asked her why a man was blind, why the streets were dirty etc. He nana makes him see the beauty in the world.
LibraryThing member Sullywriter
A young boy learns to see the beauty in everyday things from his wise grandmother. Lovely story, delightful illustration.
LibraryThing member athena.j
The genre of this book is realistic fiction. CJ is a young boy who travels with his grandmother on an old bus after church every Sunday. Even though at first, CJ is jealous of all the people outside, but then he begins to find the magic from the people inside, from the guitar player to the old
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woman with butterflies in a jar. At last, when they arrive at the soup kitchen to volunteer, CJ isn't frustrated anymore, and he is happy to be there.
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LibraryThing member mholtan
This sweet book talks about a boy and his grandmother who take the bus to the food shelf. The boy wants all of these materialistic things but his grandmother reminds him that the world is more beautiful without all of that stuff. This book is very eye opening to children and even to adults. The
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illustrations are pencil coloring and portray the city well. I would use this in a classroom to teach diversity and the many hardships in the world. But I would also encourage them to appreciate what they have in life. Try to take a field trip to do some volunteering.
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LibraryThing member librarian1204
A good story that will be great for discussion at story times in libraries and at home. Complimentary illustrations enhance the text. BUT, Newbery Award, I don't think so. There had to be a better choice for this prestigious award. If the committee was looking for a more accessible choice for young
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children than perhaps they should have joined the Caldecott committee and awarded Finding Winnie, both medals.
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LibraryThing member bell7
A boy and his grandmother take the bus after church to serve at the soup kitchen. CJ is inclined to see what he doesn't have, but his grandmother shows him how to find joy and beauty in simple things. The illustrations are acrylic and collage with some digital manipulation, bold colors and simple
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LibraryThing member klburnside
I didn't realize that picture books could win the Newbery award, but looks like this year the winner is a picture book. Last Stop on Market Street is the story of a boy learning from his grandma how to see beauty in the every day routines of life. A rainstorm, small interactions with strangers on
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the bus, and a rainbow over the boarded up stores and graffiti covered windows remind the boy and his grandmother that little moments of beauty and grace surround us when we keep our eyes and ears open.

Nice to be able to knock out another Newbery in less than 10 minutes!
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LibraryThing member pataustin
When C.J. and his grandma wait in the rain and get on the bus, C.J. is grumbling the whole time– about not having a car, not having a device for listening to music, and having to do stuff that his friends don’t do. But at every turn, his nana sees goodness and kindness. Even C. J. is
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transported by the joys of music as a guy on the bus strums his guitar. When they finally get where they’re going (and readers don’t really know until the end), C. J asks, “How com it’s always so dirty over here?” Pointing to the rainbow, nana points out “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, C J., you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful” (unp). In seeing familiar faces at the soup kitchen, where he and nana serve food, he admits he’s glad they came. Winner of the 2016 Newbery Award and Caldecott Honor, this uplifting picture book brings home a valuable message to young children, many of whom would identify with the protagonist.
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LibraryThing member MaowangVater
On the bus ride from church to the soup kitchen CJ’s grandmother how to be happy with the thing that you have instead of wanting the things you don’t have and walk on the sunny side of life. As she puts it, “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for
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what’s beautiful.”

de la Peña’s simple story illustrating a profound truth about happiness is brightly colored by Robinson’s crisply lined illustrations, “created with acrylic paint, collage, and a bit of digital manipulation.”
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LibraryThing member mirikayla
Lovely illustrations and a very sweet story.
LibraryThing member Tracie_Shepherd
At first I was disappointed with this book as I didn't quite understand what the point of the story was. A little boy is dissatisfied with his life, the family doesn't own a car, his city is dirty, he has to go somewhere every Sunday after church. AHH, that somewhere is what makes the story. I
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listed this book's diversity as multicultural because there are many cultures depicted even though the main characters appear African American. The young boy's grammar was terrible and I immediately wondered if this was stereotyping. This book could be used to point out that while we may be dissatisfied with our lives we can find good in what we have and there are others who would be happy to be in our shoes.
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LibraryThing member sccdc
CJ and his grandmother take a bus ride together and discover their neighborhood
LibraryThing member melodyreads
Learning to look around and see what is there -
LibraryThing member DaliaL.
Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction

I would use this book to:
-teach students about contemporary realistic fiction
-teach students about the importance of

Summary: This book is about a boy named CJ who, like every sunday morning, gets on the bus with his grandma to go to their next destination.
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During the bus ride, CJ asks his grandmother questions and his grandmother helps him see the beauty of the world through her answers.

Media: mixed media collage

Realistic fiction book critique:
"Last Stop on Market Street" is an excellent example of contemporary realistic fiction because it is relatable. For example, there are many kids who ride the bus on a regular basis just like CJ. Children also like to question many things like CJ's character.
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LibraryThing member hfetty1
I really enjoyed this book! One of my favorite features in this story was the language used throughout the text as well as the language CJ and his Nana exchange in conversation. For example, on pages 3 and 4 Nana responds to CJ by saying, "Trees get thirsty, too... Don't you see that big one
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drinking from a straw?" Obviously, trees don't drink from straws, but CJ's Nana makes up a little fib for him to believe- to quiet him down and get him thinking. I know that my grandmother used to do this same thing to me! I would always ask so many questions that didn't really need to be asked. I think the characters and the language the author uses between the two of them is very believable and works perfectly with the story intended to be told. In saying this, although the characters are not real people, the author describes them and their interactions very humanistically. When CJ and his Nana encounter a person with a visual impairment. CJ's Nana makes it a point that CJ doesn't judge this man or make any assumptions based on how he looks. It's a moving book if you think about the many themes that it has. Really the only negative I found in the story was the complexity of some of the interpretations that could be drawn from the text. But in the end I found the big idea or message to be that even if/ when you may not be struggling yourself, it is still so important to give back and do charitable/ helpful things for other struggling people.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Unhappy that he and his Nana have to take the bus after church - why don't they have a car, he wonders? - young CJ delivers a litany of complaints, only to be answered time and again with his grandmother's wise observations about the beauty of the world around them. After a brief moment of epiphany
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while listening to a musician on the bus, CJ comes to himself and disembarks. He and Nana have arrived at their destination: a soup kitchen where they volunteer.

A much-discussed book, Last Stop On Market Street is a title with many admirable qualities. The artwork, which approximates a child's own drawing style, ably complements the text, and was worthy of the Caldecott Honor it won. The story itself presents a number of noble ideas, from the importance of courtesy to one's elders and to the disabled, to the valuing of the intangibles of experience over material possessions. Service to others, in the form of CJ and Nana's involvement at the soup kitchen, is also emphasized. But although I appreciated Christian Robinson's artwork, and was in sympathy with the didactic project being undertaken by Matt de la Peña - the idea of finding beauty in blasted landscapes reminds me of William Carlos Williams' poetry - I cannot say that this title really deserved the Newbery Medal it was awarded. I wasn't put off by the colloquial language that some have decried - this is dialogue, after all, and literature is replete with colloquial language that doesn't meet the more stringent requirements of grammatically 'correct' speech - but I also wasn't convinced that the writing here was so skilled, so "distinguished," that this could be considered the best-written book published for children in 2015. Despite its good qualities, I wouldn't even described this as the best-written picture-book of 2015. An odd, odd choice on the part of the award committee. I can't help but feel that they wanted to be ground-breaking, and put that desire before any objective analysis.
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LibraryThing member bibliotecayamaguchi
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member catherineparry
A boy and his Nana take the bus to the last stop on Market Street after church each week. They meet a variety of people and talk about their experiences on their way to serve a meal for those in need.
This book is realistic fiction because it tells a story that has not particularly happened, but
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Media: acrylic paint, collage, and digital manipulation.
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LibraryThing member cbl_tn
After church on Sunday, C.J. and his grandmother ride the bus to the last stop on Market Street. C.J. wonders why they don't have a car like his friend, Colby, or why he can't have an iPod like a couple of the older boys on the bus. C.J.'s nana helps him to see things differently by enjoying what
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he has instead of wishing for what he doesn't have. C.J.'s nana is a wise woman. Through her example, C.J.'s nana is teaching C.J. the value of intangible things like music, color, and laughter. I've often seen churches use the motto “come in to worship, go out to serve”. This book beautifully and sensitively illustrates “going out to serve.”
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LibraryThing member TammyBB
The story follows a little boy on his bus ride through the city with his grandmother (while he asks many profound questions about life and Nana answers in playful but thoughtful ways), and concludes CJ and Nana serving lunch to the homeless at a soup kitchen. This book has won the Newbery Medal and
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is also both a Coretta Scott King and Caldecott Honor book. Though very kid-friendly, the narrative is also very poetic.
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LibraryThing member SatinaJensen
A boy and his nana ride the bus to the end of Market Street to the soup kitchen, along the way encountering different people on the bus.
LibraryThing member drobin24
I am very glad that I read this book, mainly because of the perspective it brings. First, I get to see a city through an impoverished boy's eyes. Through dialect and illustrations, the character is made real and the reader wants to hear his voice, even in a 3rd person point of view. The
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illustrations show a cartoon-like representation of the city and its people, highlighting their differences. In a scene on the bus, there are people that differ by age, race, abilities, gender, etc., another factor with which the reader is captivated. The other perspective that it brings is through the boy's nana. When the boy is feeling negatively about his life, she adds an optimistic viewpoint of their world. For example, the boy asks "Nana, how come we don't got a car?" and she replies "Boy, what do we need a car for? We got a bus that breathes fire, and old Mr. Dennis, who always has a trick for you." The big idea is that there is beauty and joy surrounding us in all situations; we just have to look for it.
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LibraryThing member Jennifer LeGault
After church on Sundays, CJ and his nana ride the bus across town to their stop on Market Street. CJ questions why they have to take the journey and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.


Caldecott Medal (Honor Book — 2016)
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (Picture Books — 2015)
Triple Crown Awards (Nominee — 2017)
Monarch Award (Nominee — 2018)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades K-2 — 2016)






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