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Hippie Chick Hardcover – October 1, 2008

4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—Fifteen-year-old Lolly Emmerson loves to spend time with her boyfriend, Nicky. Her other love is sailing in the Florida Keys. One evening, her Boston Whaler hits an underwater obstacle. Lolly is not concerned until the unsinkable boat overturns and she is dumped into the water. She tries to remain calm but is knocked unconscious by the mast. When she comes to, something thumps her. Shark or dolphin is the first thing that comes to mind; however, it is a giant manatee. A trio of manatees takes Lolly on their backs to an isolated island. When she begins to recover from her injuries, the manatees take her to open water where she is soon spotted and rescued, and one of the animals is severely injured by a propeller cut. While the story might stretch the imagination, it does show the teen's courage and determination to survive and the bond she forges with these gentle creatures. Lolly tells her story after her rescue, explaining how she felt at various stages of her ordeal, particularly when she was sure she was going to die. It's an affecting account, beautifully told. In an afterword, the author makes a plea for the safe treatment of the manatees.—Sharon Morrison, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this thoroughly introspective tale, a Florida teenager survives a nautical mishap by falling in with a passing trio of manatees. Lolly finds herself both physically and mentally adrift after a peaceful solo sail in a small boat turns suddenly disastrous, leaving her injured and in shock. Enter the manatees, one of whom allows her to take hold of an old propeller wound and tows her to an uninhabited mangrove cove. As hunger and dehydration drive her into a dreamlike state, wishes and fragments of her ordinary life drift through Lolly’s consciousness, and her inner narrative takes on a stream-of-consciousness quality: I began to cry from exhaustion and beauty and from not knowing the difference between the two. Monninger tucks in a metaphysical element toward the end (shades of Whale Rider), but the manatees never behave unnaturally. Their plight, highlighted in the author’s afterword, will make as deep an impression on readers as the protagonist’s own strong, distinctive voice. Grades 7-10. --John Peters

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 6 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 940L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Front Street Press (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590785983
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590785980
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,190,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joseph Monninger has published fourteen novels and three non-fiction books. His work has appeared in American Heritage, Scientific American, Readers Digest, Glamour, Playboy, Story, Fiction, The Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated and Ellery Queen, among other publications. He has twice received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and has also received a fellowship from the New Hampshire Council for the Arts. His young adult novel, Baby, was awarded the 2008 award for best children's literature from the Peace Corps Writers. It was also chosen as a top ten book by YALSA, the American Library Association. The Bulletin of the Center for Children's' Books awarded Hippie Chick, a young adult novel, a blue ribbon for a top book of 2008.

Joseph Monninger grew up in Westfield, New Jersey and attended Temple University on a football scholarship. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Upper Volta, now Burkina Faso, from 1975-77. He has been a licensed New Hampshire Fishing Guide and has fly-fished from New Zealand to Wyoming's Wind River Range. He lives in a converted barn near New Hampshire's Baker River. For several years his family competed in the New England Sled Dog sprint races and ran a small sled dog business in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

As a teacher at one time or another at the University of New Hampshire, the Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island, The American International School in Vienna, and at Plymouth State University, Joseph Monninger has spent thirty years in classrooms. During the summers he directed academic enrichment programs at Williams and Amherst Colleges. He led student groups on bicycle tours across Europe, sailed the Whitsunday Islands near the Great Barrier Reef, and worked on community service projects in Montserrat, West Indies and on the Crow Reservation in Montana. He has taken a mail boat across the southern edge of Newfoundland and, as a young man, hitch-hiked across the United States three times.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on October 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Gold Star Award Winner!

If I heard someone else say this about a book, I would immediately roll my eyes and decide to skip reading it, but here goes ... HIPPIE CHICK is a beautiful book! Seriously, if you have a chance to read it, run, don't walk, and grab the chance.

Lolly Emmerson is an independent fifteen-year-old who sets out for an evening sail in the Florida Keys. She leaves a note for her mother as her neighbor suggests and heads out in the small boat she has handled by herself on countless sails. This time events conspire against her when the boat hits some underwater wreckage, causing it to overturn. Lolly is thrown overboard with only her life vest for support.

After hours of struggling and a bump against her leg that she is sure is a bull shark, Lolly manages to climb onto the floundering boat. Her fragile hold on the disabled craft doesn't last long, and she slips back into the water, and what she believes to be certain death.

As Lolly beautifully relates her story, she describes the arrival of three manatees. One of the huge, gentle creatures allows her to cling to him as they make their way to a feeding area in a tiny mangrove bay. Lolly credits the manatees with her eventual survival, but once rescued, she finds it difficult to relate her curious adventure to news reporters and interested friends.

Many authors of survivor tales focus on frightening, desperate attempts to beat nature and hang on until help arrives. Joseph Monninger tells this story in a different way. The focus is on the mysterious, sensitive side of nature. Lolly experiences a deep connection to her manatee rescuers that only she can understand. Monninger gives readers a wonderful peek into Lolly's emotional, life-changing experience.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Helen Folsom on April 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I sometimes had to put this book down, but I didn't want to. It kept calling to me. Saw a review by Amanda Lorenzo and that sold me on it[..]

Don't miss this one, great writing, superb treatment, a standout in the YA category.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kendra on January 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my 11 year old daughter. She is a manatee advocate and loves any story that involves manatees true or fantasy. This book is a little mauture in subject content but not too bad.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have eight grandchildren and read lots of young adult books (so I can recommend them to my four teenage grandchildren). I'm not sure if I will finish this one - won't recommend to grandchildren or other youth. Author just doesn't make the connection with his characters and the readers.
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