Thursday, December 27, 2012
Another Remarkable Voice
"Even on the worst day you ever had - a day when your favorite shirt's in the wash and you almost miss the bus because you spent so much time looking for it, a day when your best friend misses school because she's got the flu - it's hard not to get a kick out of a chicken," says Prairie Evers about her flock of Rhode Island Reds, Australorps, and Wyandottes. She is an amazing girl whose years of homeschooling end when her parents move to her mother's family farm in New York, and her chicken-raising/egg-selling venture begins with the selection of chick breeds from the Agway. At the public school, she knows she will be at the bottom of the pile in regard to social acceptance, but eventually, she befriends Ivy, another girl whose presence is barely noticed by most of the classmates. Together, they discover ways to keep the coyotes at bay on the farm, share RC Cola, kick each other's toes in recognition of shared emotions, and come to an understanding about friendship and being loved. Add to the narrative Prairie's quirky - but well-intentioned - parents, her loving Grammy (whose letters sustain her when Grammy goes back to North Carolina), and chickens with the ability to put life in perspective, and the resulting Praire Evers by Ellen Airgood is a novel not-to-be-missed.