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Chirp: 02/29/20


Chirp by Kate Messner is set in the summer after Mia and her parents move back to Burlington Vermont from Boston. They are here to help Mia's grandmother with her cricket business while she recovers from a stroke. When they arrive, the find her back at work, trying to expand the business, and utterly convinced that someone is sabotaging it.

Mia is also recovering emotionally and mentally from a broken arm that took her out of gymnastics for a year. Her arm has healed but the rest of her hasn't. Now she's forced to participate in two summer camps to get out of house. One of them is a young entrepreneurs camp and the other is a warrior camp, where she will be forced to face her lingering fears.

It was the cricket plot that hooked me. Grandmother's business is the raising of food grade crickets for human consumption. Some are roasted with different flavors. Some are ground into a flour like substance.

There are so many details to focus on: temperature and humidity, cricket diseases, breeding, feeding, watering, separating out the living from the dead before freezing. Each step can be plagued with human error, inefficiencies, and timing issues.

At the young entrepreneurs camp, Mia gets a chance to make friends and help her grandmother's business. It was fun seeing the brainstorming and the way Mia and her friends put their ideas into action.

Chirp is a good follow up read for fans of The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz and Click'd by Tamara Ireland Stone.

Five stars

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