Chigger

( 1 )

Overview

What happens when a mysterious "new girl" moves into a quiet little town in southern Indiana? It's the late 1950s and folks aren't accustomed to change. The other kids don't know what to make of the scrappy newcomer who's "not even starting school right." She insists on being called Eddie-though Eddie is a boy's name, as everyone in school knows. From the very start this girl "already had a secret deep as her own name."

Inspired by a true story and actual events, Chigger follows...

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Overview

What happens when a mysterious "new girl" moves into a quiet little town in southern Indiana? It's the late 1950s and folks aren't accustomed to change. The other kids don't know what to make of the scrappy newcomer who's "not even starting school right." She insists on being called Eddie-though Eddie is a boy's name, as everyone in school knows. From the very start this girl "already had a secret deep as her own name."

Inspired by a true story and actual events, Chigger follows the struggles of the new girl as she raises "quite a ruckus at school." Impoverished, always hungry, she nonetheless refuses help and won't be pitied. Fiercely independent,
with plenty of pluck, she is clearly a fighter-with her mouth and her fists. Will she ever make a single friend as she battles for respect and a safe place for herself and her mother in the pleasant town of Roscoe? Will anyone ever stand up for her? And will folks "do the right thing when they see it clearly," as the girl ultimately has to fight for her life?

Blending humor, heartbreak, and heroism, Chigger will appeal to adults, especially Boomers who remember the fabulous and not-so-fabulous '50s. Children will enjoy reading about the adventures and misadventures of youngsters from a bygone era. And everyone who likes to root for the underdog will love this sweet story of an unforgettable girl who, because she and her Mom "don't have no other choice," has to take on the world.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
The story's period setting stays sharply in focus throughout the book. Within that context, Chigger's f-word "cussing" sounds even more shocking than it would today, yet the one time it's used serves a purpose. Though the occasional tinge of memoir may resonate with adults more than with children, the story has broad appeal. —Carolyn Phelan
Midwest Book Review
Change brings the unknown, and the unknown can be frightening. "Chigger" is a novel set in the late 1950s as young girl who wants to be called Eddie comes into her town and finds a town suspicious of her. In her quest to blend in, Eddie faces many challenges and drives herself to succeed, in this heartwarming tale that is honest and not so honest about the fond memories of the 1950s. "Chigger" is an excellent and choice read, highly recommended.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—In the Roscoe, Indiana, of 1959, girls don't have names reserved for boys, they don't wear jeans, they would never defy a teacher's orders; they prefer jump rope over marbles-and of course, girls would never use profanity (nor would anyone). That is until Eddie Heck moves to town. Soon nicknamed Chigger by Buzz, one of a nasty trio of boys, she challenges standard expectations for behavior. Her colorful language is sometimes explicit but fitting for her character and experiences. As the summer before sixth grade starts, Chigger tenaciously befriends Luke Zielinski, also an outsider. He is a relative newcomer to Roscoe (his dad is in the Air Force), the family is Catholic in a primarily Protestant town, and his sensitivity to animals and people prevents him from enjoying horror movies and shooting rifles. His narration reveals the gradual evolution of his friendship with Chigger. Initial ambivalence grows into a deep friendship with both children maturing, questioning expectations, saving baby chicks, reveling in newfound newspaper celebrity, and revealing and ultimately confronting dangerous family secrets. Though this is a nostalgic look at a time gone by, the emotions remain true. While some adult characters simply move the plot along, others, such as Zeke's parents and the sixth-grade teacher, provide a refreshing look at the adult world and its sometimes indecipherable (at least to children) interactions. Ultimately, all ends in a satisfying and generally plausible way; Chigger reveals and embraces her given name without sacrificing her nickname, and there is a satisfactory comeuppance for her nemesis.—Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at Washington DC Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934894385
  • Publisher: MotesBooks
  • Publication date: 1/1/2012
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 1,213,030
  • Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 22, 2013

    This is a sweet story, a gem of a novel, that will appeal to bot

    This is a sweet story, a gem of a novel, that will appeal to both children and adults, especially those of us who fondly remember small town life in the 1950s.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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