Chirp by Kate Messner, published in 2020, tells the tale of Mia, a twelve year old former gymnast who’s just moved from Boston to Vermont. Her family moved there to support her grandmother, whose unpredictability makes everyone wonder what’s going to happen next. Gram’s business, raising crickets for people food, is languishing.

Soon it looks like someone is trying to sabotage the cricket farm by releasing gulls inside, then fruit flies. As Mia and her new friend Clover try to figure out if there really is sabotage, and who’s doing it, Mia’s fears resurface. It’s all related to her previous gymnastics career, and a creepy guy who worked there.

Can Mia and her new friends get Gram’s business to succeed? Can Mia learn resilience? This book does a great job of carrying the reader along as Mia begins to seek and find healing. A book for the “me too” era, it shows acceptance of a friend’s family of two moms.

Short Story by Phyllis Wheeler

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