Chirp by Kate Messner

Chirp by Kate Messner


Goodreads: Chirp
Series: None
Source: Library
Published: 2020


Mia’s family moves back to Vermont to help her grandmother sell her cricket farm, but, her grandmother is not ready to sell. She wants to expand. But she is convinced someone is trying to sabotage her. Can Mia find out the truth–and be brave enough to speak out?

Star Divider


In her latest book, Kate Messner tackles yet another difficult issue facing young people today: sexual harassment. As always, Messner’s treatment is sensitive and age appropriate. Readers will not find graphic descriptions of assault here, even though the book is clearly inspired by the Larry Nassar case, as well as by the #MeToo movement. Rather, Messner allows a wide range of women and girls to voice the ways in which they have been harassed, bullied, and victimized by those who should have been protecting and supporting them. In so doing, Messner opens up an important conversation young people need to have and reminds girls that they are not alone.

Chirp, however, is more than an important message. It is a heartwarming story with a fun, quirky premise–saving a cricket farm by convincing a town they should eat bugs to be healthier and live a more sustainable life style. And it is full of a rich, diverse cast of characters who each bring a unique perspective to the tale. Readers will find themselves cheering on Mia and her friends as they band together to solve the mystery of the saboteur–inspired by their own favorite mystery novels–and spread the word of the cricket-eating lifestyle. It might even inspire some intrepid readers to try out crickets for themselves!

Kate Messner is one of my favorite middle grade authors writer today and I always await her latest releases with anticipation. She has a history of dealing with important topics from child homelessness to the heroin epidemic. She recognizes that young people are facing difficult moments in their own lives, and so she does not seek to protect them from a reality they already know. Instead, she acknowledges their reality and she offers understanding, empathy, and hope. Her books have surely been an invaluable help to many a reader who thought they were alone. I hope that we continue to see many more books from Messenger in the future.

5 stars

3 thoughts on “Chirp by Kate Messner

  1. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    Okay, I love middle grade books. Why have I never heard of Messner’s writing?! I’m definitely going to check out some of her published works soon.

    The premise of saving a cricket farm by encouraging everyone to eat more crickets is highly amusing. I’ve had baked goods from cricket flour before and really enjoyed it. I’m quite intrigued to see how sexual harassment plays into this storyline.

    Which Messner book would you recommend I start with? Or, really, is there one you think would make a superior book club book compared to others?


    • Krysta says:

      I think I could handle cricket flour. The book almost had me wanting to try actual crickets until they said sometimes the legs get stuck in your teeth, “but you get used to it.” No…thank you… XD

      My favorite Messner book might be The Exact Location of Home. It’s about a boy who loses his home and is living out of his car, basically, with his mom, but he’s too ashamed to tell his friends or the girl he has a crush on. It’s kind of rare to see a book explore the impact of homelessness on children.

      Liked by 1 person

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