Chicks with Sticks (It's a Purl Thing)

Elizabeth Lenhard, Author . Dutton $15.99 (261p) ISBN 978-0-525-47622-1

Lenhard's (the W.I.T.C.H. series) novel relays the tale of the self-proclaimed Chicks with Sticks, four diverse, likable teens in Chicago who lose themselves—and in so doing, find themselves—in knitting after they join a class at KnitWit, a yarn shop. Fifteen-year-old Scottie is still grieving the death of her favorite aunt just a month ago. Through the knitting group, she reconnects with her recently estranged best friend, beautiful, popular Amanda, who has hidden her serious learning disability from all peers but Scottie. Another classmate, Tay, sporting spiked hair, tattoos and an eyebrow ring, comes to KnitWit because her guidance counselor "thinks I'm hyper and prescribed yarn in lieu of Ritalin." Home-schooled for years, cheerful Bella is tired of conforming to the expectations of her free-spirited yet smothering parents. Lenhard credibly builds the camaraderie that grows out of this unlikely knitting circle (and includes four projects for young knitters to start their own). But descriptions of the therapeutic effects of both their knitting and friendship at times grow melodramatic (e.g., Bella says, "I can make a sweater with arms long enough for my arms. Maybe, with you guys, I can achieve perfection after all"). Though the group begins to unravel, the plot's predictable pattern reunites the quartet in, unfortunately, a rather banal bind-off. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/28/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
Paperback - 261 pages - 978-0-14-240695-3
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