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Chirp
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Chirp
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"[A] deftly layered mystery about family, friendship, and the struggle to speak up." - Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and ShoutFrom acclaimed author Kate Messner comes the powerful...
"[A] deftly layered mystery about family, friendship, and the struggle to speak up." - Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and ShoutFrom acclaimed author Kate Messner comes the powerful...
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  • "[A] deftly layered mystery about family, friendship, and the struggle to speak up." - Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and Shout
    From acclaimed author Kate Messner comes the powerful story of a young girl with the courage to make her voice heard, set against the backdrop of a summertime mystery.
    When Mia moves to Vermont the summer after seventh grade, she's recovering from the broken arm she got falling off a balance beam. And packed away in the moving boxes under her clothes and gymnastics trophies is a secret she'd rather forget.

    Mia's change in scenery brings day camp, new friends, and time with her beloved grandmother. But Gram is convinced someone is trying to destroy her cricket farm. Is it sabotage or is Gram's thinking impaired from the stroke she suffered months ago? Mia and her friends set out to investigate, but can they uncover the truth in time to save Gram's farm? And will that discovery empower Mia to confront the secret she's been hiding—and find the courage she never knew she had?

    In a compelling story rich with friendship, science, and summer fun, a girl finds her voice while navigating the joys and challenges of growing up.

About the Author-

  • Kate Messner is a former middle-school English teacher and the author of E. B. White Read Aloud Award winner The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. and its companion, The Exact Location of Home; Sugar and Ice; Eye of the Storm; Wake Up Missing; All the Answers; The Seventh Wish; Capture the Flag; Hide and Seek; the Marty McGuire chapter book series; the Ranger in Time chapter book series; and several picture books. She lives on Lake Champlain with her husband and two kids. When she's not reading or writing, she loves hiking, kayaking, biking, and watching thunderstorms over the lake. www.katemessner.com
    @KateMessner

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from October 15, 2019
    "Sometimes courage is quiet." Mia's life turned upside down a year ago when she broke her arm during a gymnastics routine, so a family move back to Vermont, where Mia's paternal grandmother lives, seems like the perfect fresh start. Gram farms crickets as an alternative food source, and Mia is eager to help out during the summer. Things start going wrong at the farm, however, and Gram is certain that sabotage is the cause. With the help of new friends made and new skills acquired at the day camps her parents force her to attend, Mia is determined to keep Gram's beloved business from failing. But to grow past obstacles internal and external, she must first find the courage to speak out. This story defies categorization: It's at once a friendship yarn, a summer idyll, a mystery, and a push for female empowerment. Messner deftly weaves together myriad complex plot threads to form a captivating whole. Characters are well drawn and multifaceted; all are imbued with a rich individuality, from earnest, increasingly confident Mia to the never seen farmhand James who attends all his husband's baseball games. The women, tellingly, remain at the helm throughout. They are entrepreneurs, activists, engineers, mayors; they are mothers, daughters, friends, lovers. Each woman's rise is its own story, giving Mia a supportive space in which she can come to terms with her own conflicts. Mia and her family are white; the supporting cast is vigorously diverse. Rich, timely, and beautifully written. (Fiction. 10-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 18, 2019
    When Mia’s grandma has a mild stroke, the middle schooler’s family moves from Boston to Burlington, Vt., to help her grandmother sell her cricket farm. As a former entomology professor and entomophagist, however, Gram is determined to get more people eating protein-rich crickets and expand the farm—if she can first figure out who is sabotaging it. With the help of two friends she meets at Launch Camp for Young Entrepreneurs, Mia—a fearless gymnast until an injury and a painful secret leaves her uncertain and cautious—creates a business plan for Gram’s cricket farm and starts sleuthing for Gram’s
    saboteur. But doing so means that Mia must find both her courage and her voice. Messner addresses #MeToo themes authentically and with care as her story moves toward empowerment: Mia displays fear and confusion alongside a hope to reclaim the strength she once felt as a gymnast. Layering mystery elements, strong and myriad female characters, and a poignant analogy involving chirp-less female crickets, Messner gently guides Mia on a journey of resilience that both comforts and inspires. Ages 10–14. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2020

    Gr 4-6-Messner crafts a timely "#MeToo" novel wrapped in intriguing parallel mysteries. What turned talented gymnast Mia away from the sport she loved after a fall and surgery? There's a story she hasn't told anyone. And who is sabotaging her Gram's fledgeling cricket farm? In the summer after seventh grade, Mia finds the courage-and voice-to confront both. Helping Mia reclaim her strength are the skills she develops while attending two summer camps and a number of memorable female supporting characters. New friend Clover's innate bravery and self-confidence help Mia remember she is strong, too. Gram almost steals the spotlight as the novel's most inspiring character through her rich backstory and, like Mia, is determined to recover from a physical setback. Most male figures-both human and insect-are depicted as characters who are less mature and sensitive than their female counterparts. A male camper eventually apologizes to Mia's friend Anna for making her feel uncomfortable with his advances. At Mia's request, her mother tells her father about Mia's past abuse to spare the teen re-telling her painful story to him; "Dad wasn't great about talking about things like that." The novel's important themes successfully inspire and empower its audience. Mia's shyness, aversion to gymnastics, and discomfort with unfamiliar boys and men clearly establishes the thematic subtext of the novel for young readers, even when the action is focused on the sabotage afoot. VERDICT A novel that succeeds most as a carefully plotted, engaging mystery and middle grade-appropriate introduction to a serious and pervasive issue.-Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    November 15, 2019
    Grades 5-8 Mia and her parents are moving back to Vermont to help her grandmother, a former entomologist, sell her cricket farm. Mia's happy to leave the bustle of Boston, but she's less enthused about having to attend two summer camps instead of vegging out in front of the TV, her favorite pastime since her gymnastics injury last year. Despite her reluctance, the Launch (entrepreneurial) and Ninja Warrior camps help her in ways she never expected. Meanwhile, someone is out to sabotage Gram's business after she decides to expand rather than sell, inspiring Mia's Launch project and adding a fun, mystery element to the story. Amid common themes of friendship and overcoming fears, Messner (Breakout, 2018) folds in strong messaging about sexual harassment, most poignantly in Mia's experience with a former gymnastics coach. As Mia's trauma is slowly revealed, Messner incorporates others' #MeToo experiences, providing her with a strong support system of women. This book directly addresses a relevant topic rarely discussed with middle-schoolers?and it's not the lively debate over whether people should eat crickets.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of SPEAK and SHOUT Kate Messner strikes the perfect balance of joy, pain, and strength in this deftly layered mystery about family, friendship, and the struggle to speak up.
  • Laura Ruby, National Book Award Finalist and author of the York Trilogy Chirp is so many things: a mystery, a family story, and a story of the power of friendship. It's about learning to speak out when it seems the whole world would rather you shut up. Sure to be passed from kid to kid to kid
  • Anne Ursu, author of THE LOST GIRL Once again, Kate Messner has written a book that will be a dear and important friend to her readers. A loving and compelling ode to the joy of friendship, the many kinds of strength, and the everyday bravery of girls.
  • Starred Review, School Library Connection Messner honors middle graders by exploring important, relevant issues at their level of understanding. This book will prompt discussions of gender inequality, consent, and sexual abuse. A must purchase.
  • Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews Messner deftly weaves together myriad complex plot threads to form a captivating whole. . . . Rich, timely, and beautifully written.
  • Publishers Weekly, starred review Layering mystery elements, strong and myriad female characters, and a poignant analogy involving chirp-less female crickets, Messner gently guides Mia on a journey of resilience that both comforts and inspires.
  • BookPage, starred review Chockfull of strong female role models, Chirp is a riveting middle grade novel of empowerment that deftly tackles a delicate, imperative subject.
  • Shelf Awareness, starred review A deliciously layered concoction of mystery, friend bonding and girl power. . . . Messner gracefully spins multiple threads into one beautiful, empowering novel that is likely to satisfy warriors and quietly courageous readers alike.
  • School Library Journal A timely '#MeToo' novel wrapped in intriguing parallel mysteries.
  • The New York Times Book Review Resonant, necessary. . . . At its heart, Chirp is a female-powered story about courage.
  • Publishers Weekly, starred review, on BREAKOUT An effective, authentically wrought look at how fear and ignorance can lead people to treat those of different races or from different places with suspicion. Messner shines a light on the ways that people are blind to their own privilege while quick to judge others.
  • School Library Journal, starred review, on BREAKOUT An accessible format and a unique focus on contemporary issues of criminal justice and racial bias make this an essential purchase.
  • Kirkus Reviews on BREAKOUT A sensitive coming-of-age tale about waking up to injustice and where that knowledge can lead.
  • Starred review, Kirkus Reviews on THE EXACT LOCATION OF HOME Authentic . . . . Middle school worries and social issues skillfully woven into a moving, hopeful, STEM-related tale.
  • School Library Journal, starred review, on THE EXACT LOCATION OF HOME Vivid characters and situations, along with clear, simple writing and plotting, make this an accessible and enlightening read. A gentle but truthful look at poverty and homelessness.
  • Anne Ursu, author of BREADCRUMBS and THE REAL BOY on THE SEVENTH WISH An empathetic, beautiful, magical, fiercely necessary book that stares unflinchingly at the very real challenges contemporary kids face and gently assures them they are not alone. Kate Messner gives her readers a story to cherish.
  • Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on THE SEVENTH WISH Hopeful, empathetic, and unusually enlightening.

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    Bloomsbury Publishing
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