Prairie Evers (Hardcover)
Ten-year-old Prairie, homeschooled by her wise grandmother, faces many changes—moving, attending school for the first time, and making friends. (9-12)
— From Today
July 2012 Indie Next List
“A coming-of-age story with chickens? Prairie Evers is a girl who prefers chickens over children, dictionaries over computers, and homeschooling over classrooms. Unfortunately, she is outvoted on the last one. How does a homeschooled North Carolina mountain girl fit into an upstate New York fifth grade class? As Prairie would say, it's not all that easy to bring new chickens into the flock!”
— Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
A sweet, spirited ten-year-old embarks upon the adventure of first friendship in this sparkling debut Prairie Evers is finding that socialization isn't all it's cracked up to be. She's been homeschooled by her granny and has learned the most from traipsing through nature. But now she has to attend public school, and feels just like her chickens--cooped up and subject to the pecking order. School is a jolt for Prairie until she meets Ivy, her first true friend. But while raising chickens and the great outdoors have given Prairie wisdom and perspective, nothing has prepared her for the give and take of friendship. When Prairie finds out that Ivy's home may not be the best place for Ivy, Prairie must corral all her optimism and determination to hatch a plan to help. Fabulous writing and a narrator full of personality distinguish this lively middle-grade novel. (And don't miss The Education of Ivy Blake, the wonderful companion to Prairie Evers )
About the Author
Ellen Airgood grew up on a small farm, and for the past nineteen years she and her husband have run a diner together in a small town in Michigan. She also wrote the adult novel South of Superior, and Prairie Evers is her first middle-grade novel. She lives in Grand Marais, Michigan.
"Easy-going, earnest story of friendship and family. . . . Spirited narration. . . . Thoughtful readers will no doubt sympathize with Prairie's feelings of loneliness and celebrate the new friendship she finds, even—or perhaps especially—when it gets complicated."
"[Airgood] introduces irrepressible Prairie Evers, a 10-year-old country girl whose skill at turning bad situations into good ones is as impressive as the size of her heart. . . . Radiates warmth and wisdom."
"Issues of individuality, peer pressure, family support, and considering the feelings of others are all cogently addressed here. Those who miss Eva Ibbotson will find comfort in Airgood’s world."
“Airgood has created a bright, spunky, independent thinker who traverses the ups and downs of friendship with optimism and loyalty. . . . A great book to recommend to readers who like a lively heroine and an intelligent, refreshing, and unpretentious plot.”
-School Library Journal
“The situation will intrigue kids, who will understand the specter of outsiderdom; the book also compellingly explores Prairie’s navigation of the ins and outs of a first best-friendship. . . . Ivy’s tough family life may also strike a chord with kids in similarly bleak positions . . . both compassionate and authentically complex.”
-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Heartwarming. . . . Uplifting story with strength in characters, setting, and, especially, Prairie’s voice. Readers will love Prairie’s independent spirit and care about her relationships.”
-Library Media Connection