Parents' Guide to


By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Girl finds voice to call out harassment in triumphant tale.

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This entertaining middle-grade novel deftly interweaves an upbeat, quick-paced mystery and a girl's dilemma regarding a secret that's come to affect her behavior. It sensitively explores how it feels to have received unwanted, inappropriate, boundary-crossing attention from a male adult in a position of power -- an experience that made her feel "icky" but that she didn't think was "bad enough" to tell anyone. Neither the term "sexual predator" nor "sexual harassment" appear in the text. "Master manipulator" and "harassment" do. Chirp author Kate Messner boldly handles the challenge of tackling this sensitive subject and balancing the narrative threads.

Kids will love sleuthing with the girls and the excitement of munching on crickets while trying to sell a business idea to attentive entrepreneurs. Frank talk about the reality of sexual harassment is joined by a chorus of adult women. Nearly all of the moms and adult women surrounding these girls have a #MeToo story to share. Chirp has moments of true cinematic finesse, such as Mia's frustration with the female crickets who are silent while the males make a deafening racket. It's a story of triumph for those brave enough to speak out.

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