- Age Range: 10 - 14 years
- Grade Level: 5 - 9
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (June 17, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416935878
- ISBN-13: 978-1416935872
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chiggers Paperback – June 17, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8–Abby is back for another summer at camp. Her friend, Rose, three years older and now a cabin assistant, cannot spend much time with her so she seeks out new friends. Deni, a city girl who produces a constant stream of conversation about boys, soon comes down with a case of chiggers, and no one is sorry to see her leave. Shasta, a raven-haired girl, replaces her. She was late to arrive, she says, due to being struck by lightning. As is common, the cabinmates cannot all get along, and the others turn against Abby for befriending Shasta. Throw in summer crushes and particle-board camp food, and reading Chiggers provides a ticket to summer fun. Larson delicately handles both the usual middle-school angst and the additional pressures that come with being somewhat different. The style is more Craig Thompson (Goodbye, Chunky Rice [Pantheon, 2006]) than Shojo Beat, and the content is perfect for upper elementary and middle school students.–Sarah Krygier, Solano County Library, Fairfield, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Nerdy, naive Abby can’t wait to return to summer camp and see Rose, the older girl who was her friend last year. But this year Rose is busy, and Abby, irritated and hurt, must find someone else to hang out with. Will it be Shasta, the new girl who nobody likes but who shares some of Abby’s interests; or punky Zoe (whose language reflects her desire to be supercool) and Beth, Zoe’s hanger-on? It’s the familar friendship story, unfolding in somewhat jerky episodes done up in sturdy black-and-white artwork reminiscent of scratchboard. The background will be familiar to any girl who ever went to camp, as will the story’s emotional content: the hurtful backbiting, the jealousy, the fear of being ostracized, the rage at being duped, and the complete preoccupation of a first crush. There’s even a sweet scene of a first delightful kiss. This may be well-trod territory, but it’s traversed with a freshness, sureness, and understanding that speak very well for Larson, who was recongnized with a 2007 Eisner Award for new cartooning talent. Grades 6-8. --Stephanie Zvirin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
We're grateful to Hope Larson for writing (and drawing) directly to our daughter in a way that she could readily experience and embrace her work, and for inspiring enthusiasm in her about reading. And we're grateful to A Parent's Guide to the Best Kids' Comics: Choosing Titles Your Children Will Love for recommending her work.
Perhaps those who are not as interested in the deeper visual aspects of life will fail to notice the emotive content that lies within Chiggers' pages. But those who are in tune to the richness of content that graphic story telling offers are in for a treat. You can tell nervousness in brush strokes, and feel the characters' emotions visually as they are upset or angry.
I have read some reviewers' problems with recognizing the characters, but I could tell each one apart. Perhaps a characters page in future printings could easily rectify this? I find them useful, even in extremely easy cases.
One day, I will gladly hand "Chiggers" to my future children, and help them learn the richness of graphic storytelling. Until then, I will happily enjoy the book myself, even being far outside the target demographic.
The story centers around Abby who in the past has been great friends with Rosie. They are looking forward to hanging out with one another, despite the three year age difference, only Rosie is now a cabin assistant and has no time to spend with Abby. Abby's other camp friends seem to have become too cool for Abby (with piercings and 'proper' boyfriends), but when one leaves, they get a new cabin mate, Shasta. Shasta is very different and takes to Abby, but Shasta has a few things she keeps close to her chest. Can Shasta be trusted, is she a true friend? Shasta and Abby become friends of sorts; they definitely become confidants. Despite the others in the cabin calling Shasta weird, Abby stands by her. Years ago Shasta was struck by lightening and strange things happen to her when there is strong electrical fields. The girls give one another new haircuts. Abby hears who she thinks are friends put her down. The story jumps about, but in a way that works well. It is like taking the boring bits out, and keeping the pertinent parts only, which is what makes it work. It is a touching story of girls getting on and not getting on at summer camp, and shows how some people grow, and others, well, they are who they are!
It is a warming book in a way, almost a form of poetry about girls growing up. I will be looking for more of Hope's work. I think I will try Larson's Mercury next.
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Written and Illustrated by Hope Larson
Comic book artist Hope Larson (creator...Read more