Criss Cross (novel)

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Criss Cross
LynneRaePerkins CrissCross.jpg
First edition cover - early printing
Author Lynne Rae Perkins
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult novel
Publisher Greenwillow Books
Publication date
September 2005
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 368 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN 0-06-009272-6 (first edition, hardback)
OCLC 56324543
LC Class PZ7.P4313 Cr 2005

Criss Cross is a novel by Lynne Rae Perkins that won the 2006 Newbery Medal for excellence in children's literature.[1] It includes the character Debbie from her previous novel, All Alone in the Universe, but introduces several new characters, primarily her neighborhood friends Hector, Lenny and Phil.


This story takes place in Seldem, during spring and summer. It follows the criss-crossing stories of a group of middle-school children. A necklace plays a significant part in all of the criss-cross moments, helping the characters in the book to find their true selves, giving the novel a touch of magic realism.

Debbie usually spends time with her four friends, Patty, Hector, Lenny, and Phil. A typical summer for them would be to hang around town and sit in Lenny's dad's pickup truck, listening to the radio. During this summer vacation however, Debbie moved into the front of their family parlor, and she has her own room. She then gets a job helping an elderly woman. She meets her boss' grandson, Peter, and they share a quick, romantic week together. Soon after he leaves back to his town in California. All of the friends go through their own changes throughout the summer and each grow in their own way. In the end, to tie up their summer, they all have a block party, and are now more mature, and use their new knowledge to move along in life.


Kirkus Reviews described Criss Cross as "A tenderly existential work that will reward more thoughtful readers in this age of the ubiquitous action saga."[2] According to The Horn Book Magazine, "In idiosyncratic, wistful prose, Perkins mines every moment of missed connection and near-change with a hypnotic hyperawareness reminiscent of adolescence itself."[3] In 2008, Anita Silvey, author of 100 Best Books for Children, described Criss Cross in a School Library Journal article as one of several recent Newbery winners considered "particularly disappointing" by public librarians.[4]


  1. ^ "2006 Newbery Medal and Honor Books". Association for Library Services to Children. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "CRISS CROSS by Lynne Rae Perkins". Kirkus Reviews. August 15, 2005. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Horn Book Fanfare 2005". The Horn Book Magazine. November 28, 2005. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  4. ^ Silvey, Anita (October 1, 2008). "Has the Newbery Lost Its Way?". School Library Journal. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
Preceded by
Newbery Medal recipient
Succeeded by
The Higher Power of Lucky