Chicks with Sticks (It’s a Purl Thing) Review
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After her favorite aunt dies suddenly, fifteen-year-old Scottie realizes that she doesn’t have anyone to talk to. Her mother, a popular artist, spends more time with her paint than with her daughter. And Scottie’s best friend, Amanda, has turned into a party girl—and she’s found new friends, who only care about lip gloss and boys.

While suffering through yet another sleepless night, Scottie digs through her backpack and finds a tangled ball of blue yarn and a pair of knitting needles that one of her aunts gave her at Aunt Roz’s funeral. Back then, she learned reluctantly—just to make her aunt happy. But when she picks up the needles again, she discovers that knitting actually makes her feel better.

Once she’s knitted her way through her first ball of yarn, Scottie finds her way to KnitWit, a cozy little yarn store, where she’s welcomed with open arms by Alice, the store’s owner—as well as by the regular knitters who show up for class every Tuesday night. At KnitWit, Scottie meets Tay, a punk-rock tomboy from her school, who takes up knitting as a dare from her guidance counselor. She even talks Amanda into knitting. And when they meet up with hippie-chick Bella, the Chicks with Sticks is born. The four girls couldn’t be more different, but their new love of knitting brings them together. Suddenly, Scottie has a whole group of friends—and she has KnitWit, the one place where she really feels like she belongs.

Though Chicks with Sticks was written for teenage girls, I still really enjoyed it. The characters (especially the four main characters) are individuals with plenty of personality, and their stories are undeniably realistic—even if their dialogue isn’t always. Despite the heavy amounts of knitting-related content, the story isn’t really about knitting. It’s about friendship—and about being yourself, no matter who that may be. So you don’t have to be a knitter to enjoy it—nor do you have to be a teen.

Chicks with Sticks is a great book for girls of all ages. If you do happen to pick up a copy for a non-knitting teen, though, be sure to pick up some knitting needles and yarn, too—because once she’s finished, there’s a pretty good chance that she’ll want to give knitting a try.

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