Title: Chicks With Sticks: It's a Purl Thing
Author: Elizabeth Lenhard
Genre: Chick lit/Contemporary fiction
Recommended for: Crafty teens, ages 13-17
Meet Scottie, Amanda, Tay, and Bella: four very different girls with one thing that they love in common. Scottie, the 15 year old daughter of Jewish artists who live in a former bread factory in Chicago, is very different from popular, outgoing, and wealthy Amanda, who is always clad in designer clothes from Paris and constantly has a throng of people following her. And Amanda contrasts with Bella, an upbeat hippie who is nothing like Tay, a tomboy and a punk. Yet all four are the best of friends, and all four like to spend their free time at KnitWit, a funky, tucked-away knitting store where the girls participate in many a "stitch n' bitch"; befriend KnitWit's kind owner, Alice; discuss their problems (boys, learning disabilities, high school, parents, friends...); learn about each other and their differences, and create close bonds between one another.
I found Elizabeth Lenhard's lovable knitting novel to be a warm, exceptionally well-written, and very clever, creative story for teenagers about how any problem can be solved by a bunch of compassionate friends and a good knit. Lots of novels out there these days have so many innappropriate aspects that are advanced and sometimes too complex for younger teens, but Lenhard manages to keep it simple and sincere in her first YA novel. I thought it was home to a lot of great themes and values, including loyalty and always being there for your pals in their times of need. I'd easily recommend it to any teen girl who likes a sweet, straight-to-the-point read.