Chiggers - Larson Hope

ISBN: 9781416935841
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young People
Genre: Graphic Novel
Age Level: 10+
Reader’s Annotation: Abby is excited to go back to camp until she realizes she doesn’t quite fit in anymore. She feels ignored and unwanted. Then Shasta shows up with her fabulous stories and older boyfriend. The only problem is that no one likes Shasta either.
Summary: Abby is saddened to return to camp and find herself alone. During the year it seems like everyone has grown up but her. Her friends have piercing and boyfriends and talk about bands. Abby just wants everything to go back to normal. When Shasta picks Abby as her new friend, it alienates her from her old crowd. Abby has to find a way to walk the middle ground while staying true to herself and both sets of friends.
Evaluation: I didn’t get this graphic novel, and perhaps that is the reason. Instead of seeming endearing and sad Abby comes off as annoying and childish. I felt more for Abby’s old friends, who seemed to be growing out of her, than for Abby – who just couldn’t keep up. I think this may be due to an inability to slow down and “read” the page spreads. The action takes place so quickly when I scan a page, that there is no passage of time for the characters.
Author Info: Hope Larson is the winner of an Eisner award in the Special Recognition category.
Booktalk Ideas: Growing out of your friends?
Challenges: none
Selection: Great cover. I know more about teen graphic novels, so this was a good time to branch out.