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Chiggers

( 3 )

Overview

Abby is back at the same old camp she goes to every summer — except for the fact that this summer, nothing is the same. Her friend Rose is a cabin assistant, her friend Beth is pierced, and now the only person who doesn't seem too cool for Abby is Shasta, the new girl. Shasta, who was struck by lightning, whose Internet boyfriend is a senior in high school, and who is totally annoying to everyone but Abby....

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Overview

Abby is back at the same old camp she goes to every summer — except for the fact that this summer, nothing is the same. Her friend Rose is a cabin assistant, her friend Beth is pierced, and now the only person who doesn't seem too cool for Abby is Shasta, the new girl. Shasta, who was struck by lightning, whose Internet boyfriend is a senior in high school, and who is totally annoying to everyone but Abby....

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

KLIATT - George Galuschak
Abby is off to summer camp, and this year change is in the air. Her best friend doesn't have time for her, and she catches her new friends talking about her in the bathroom. Tiel, the dungeon master, tells Abby that she looks like a half-elf. Does that mean he likes her? And then there's Abby's new bunkmate: Shasta has been hit by lightning; she has a boyfriend she's never met, in New Jersey; and she tells everyone she's 1/8th Cherokee. Strange lights follow Shasta around and sometimes her hair stands straight up. Tiel, the expert on such matters, suspects will-o'-the-wisps; Abby thinks that a splinter of lightning lives inside Shasta, trying to get back to the sky. Chiggers is an entertaining graphic novel whose intended audience is younger teenage girls; they will relate to Abby's friendship travails and her romance with Tiel, which consists of kissing and hand-holding. The b/w art reminds me of the work of Jeff Smith, the creator of the Bone series. Shasta isn't a happy person; she latches onto Abby—who has mixed feelings about her—because she needs friends. The characters in Chiggers aren't always nice to each other, but everything works out without the world ending. Chiggers contains mild vulgarities (bitch) and is recommended for junior high and high school graphic novel collections catering to girls; interest in this graphic novel will wane above the 9th grade. Reviewer: George Galuschak
VOYA - Arlene Allen
Abby's return to summer camp is not what she expected. Her best friend is now a Cabin Assistant and does not have time to hang out; her other friend has gone Goth and considers herself too cool for everyone. After her first bunkmate is sent home with a case of the chiggers, Abby gets stuck with Shasta, a girl who tells so many far-fetched stories about her life-she was struck by lightning, her boyfriend is a senior, she is plagued with a mysterious illness-that no one can stand being around her. Add to this mix a cute boy, who to Abby's amazement really likes her, an unlikely friendship, and parasitic intruders, and what ensues is a charming coming-of-age summer tale. Larson won an Eisner Award in 2007 for Special Recognition as an up-and-coming artist, and here she delivers upon expectations. Her characters and situations are completely believable-Larson is young enough to recall camp life in all its buggy detail. The budding romance and Abby's daydreams are sweet and touching, giving hope to every outsider who worried that no boy would like her back. The art is simple and straightforward, and combined with this particular plot, makes this volume an excellent choice to introduce graphic novels to young teen girls who never thought they would be interested in comics. Larson also has an interactive Web site where fans can listen to the official Chiggers camp song and submit their own character art. Reviewer: Arlene Allen
Children's Literature - Laura J. Brown
Abby is on her way back to summer camp and the thing she is looking forward to more than anything else is getting together with her friend Rose who is a few years older. The only problem is that Rose is now a camp counselor and does not have a lot of time to spend with Abby. Abby gets to know her cabin mates and their favorite activity is talking about and excluding girls they do not like or know. Abby has to decide what kind of person and friend she is going to be. It is not an easy choice because she does not want to become the girl her so-called friends believe she is, but she does not want to miss the opportunity to meet new people who have so much to offer. This graphic novel will appeal to many readers, but it does lack diversity in the illustrations and many of the characters look so similar that it is hard to tell them apart. Also, the story does not have smooth transitions and is difficult to follow. Finally, it is implied that one of the characters in the story has a STD and is forced to leave camp because of it, and another who has a health issue and refuses to take her medicine. Neither of these health conditions is dealt with appropriately within the novel and the author does not provide any additional information to readers. Reviewer: Laura J. Brown
School Library Journal

Gr 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

Kirkus Reviews
Eisner Award winner Larson effectively mixes magical realism with the timeless rituals of summer camp in this pitch-perfect graphic novel for ‘tweens. After arriving at camp, bookish Abby finds herself torn between her familiar bunkmates and the intriguing new girl Shasta, who has an older boyfriend and claims to have been struck by lightning. Amid the rounds of swimming and hiking, Abby learns to stand up for her new friend when other girls judge her unfairly. Tensions rise when both girls find themselves attracted to the same boy (a sweetly nerdy Dungeon Master named Teal), but after Abby saves Shasta from a mysterious will-o'-the-wisp that results in a second near-lightning strike, they part amicably and Abby gets the guy. The clean black-and-white panels are detailed without being busy, and the addition of a supernatural element symbolic of the physical and emotional upheaval of adolescence deepens an otherwise typical camp story. Extensive how-to sections on rainy-day card games and friendship bracelets are an added bonus. A delightful addition to any duffle (or library). (Graphic novel. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416935872
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 6/17/2008
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 683,173
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet 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.

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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good lesson for tweens.

    This is a great one for tweens. There are definitely some lessons in there for young girls.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    oh the creativity!

    I friggin LOVE this book! Its great! Creative storyline, creative events, creative characters, creative everything! This a fantastic comic and I suggest this to people who are like me and are very picky about their books. READ IT.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo.com

    CHIGGERS is a very enjoyable, quick read. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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!

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