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Chiggers Paperback – 17 Jun 2008
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""Chiggers" is a fresh, honest, and sweetly touching story drawn by a master artist. Kudos!" -- Jennifer L. Holm, Newbery Honor Award-winning author of "Penny from Heaven" and "Our Only May Amelia," and co-creator of "Babymouse"
"Chiggers is a fresh, honest, and sweetly touching story drawn by a master artist. Kudos!" -- Jennifer L. Holm, Newbery Honor Award-winning author of Penny from Heaven and Our Only May Amelia, and co-creator of Babymouse
"Hope Larson shows off the deft storytelling and inventive layouts that made her a web-comics sensation." -- Gene Yang, Michael L. Printz Award-winning creator of American Born Chinese
About the Author
Hope Larson is the author of Who Is AC? and the author-illustrator of Mercury, Chiggers, Gray Horses, and Salamander Dream, which Publishers Weekly named one of 2005's best comics. She won a 2007 Eisner Award, the highest honor for a comic artist. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles. You can visit her at HopeLarson.com.
Top customer reviews
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Abby can't wait to go back to summer camp to hang out with her older friend, Rose. But this year Rose comes back to camp as a cabin assistant and doesn't seem to have any time for Abby. Then Shasta arrives. She is very different and Abby thinks she is kind of cool. Then comes the problem -- none of the other girls like her. They think she is weird and fake.
Abby then needs to decide how to balance her two groups of friends, maybe a new boyfriend, and how to feel okay when Rose seems to not be with her.
Growing up is hard to do! I enjoyed this book very much and it was fun to read a graphic novel. I believe that many kids and young adults will like to read this type of medium. I would like to read more. My only complaint is that sometimes I mixed up the characters, but that may be because I'm not a picture reader -- but if I read more I may get better at it! Thank you, Hope Larson!
Reviewed by: Marta Morrison
It is the story of Abby. She is back at camp and everything has changed; her best friend is now an assistant counselor and has no time for her. Her bunkmate goes home sick, and everyone is mean to the new girl Shasta. Soon Abby finds herself in the middle of it all.
Wonderfully illustrated and written, this book is for the camper or inner camper in all of us.
The ensuing chitter-chatter revolving around petty jealousies feels pretty spot-on, as feelings are hurt -- sometimes intentionally but often not. And of course, a boy enters the picture to complicate things. The story definitely has the mood right on, but feels somewhat slight and fluffy. Although it realistically presents the vapid popularity contests and gossip endemic to the 10-14 set, I can't help but feel that it somewhat perpetuates this mindset as well. The intensely close friendships of such girls are ultimately revealed to be flimsy and insubstantial, a lesson that's not exactly what I want my little girl to be learning when she gets to that age.
The black and white art is totally suitable to the storyline, not too clean, not too messy. The one problem is that faces tend to all look the same -- I and the other people I lent the book to all had problems distinguishing between characters at times, which takes one totally out of the story -- never a good thing.
On the whole, whether or not you think this is appropriate fare for pre-teen and young teen girls probably depends on both your own experiences at summer camp and your sensitivity regarding the portrayal and modeling of female friendships. Parents should definitely read it first, both in order to evaluate the above, but also because there are allusions to sex that some parents may not like their younger kids to read.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
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.