Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chiggers - Hope Larson

this was an incredibly nostalgic read for me. it brought back memories of summer camp, and the social networks that develop in that strange insulated environment. i loved summer camp, and went every year until i was too old to be a camper any longer. i was never a very strong swimmer so i wasn't able to get the requisite life guarding credentials required by most camps to be a counselor. but i suppose that is besides the point. larson's story about a young girl's summer at camp rings absolutely true. abby is back at the same summer camp she returns to every year. but things seem to have changed, and her friends from previous years all seem to have matured a little faster than she has. she is left feeling like a third wheel much of the time, and pining for the way their relationships had been in previous summers. when one of her bunk mates is sent home following an infestation of chiggers (which sounds wholly unpleasant i might add), a new girl named shasta is assigned in her place. shasta is a little weird and somewhat fae in nature and she is immediately disliked by most of the girls who think she is just trying to be cool. however, abby seems to connect with shasta and to her old friends' dismay she starts spending time with the new girl. a wonderful story about summer relationships and girls growing up, a book to be enjoyed by anyone who has ever spent any time at summer camp.

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