The Littlest Bigfootby Jennifer Weiner
Setting: New York
Published on September 13th 2016
Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one.
But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that peopleâ€”NoFurs, as they call themâ€”are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice, and her desire to be a star.
Alice swears to protect Millieâ€™s secret. But a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail, led by a lonely kid named Jeremy. And in order to survive, Alice and Millie have to put their trust in each otherâ€”and have faith in themselvesâ€”above all else.
I picked up this book at BEA last year because I like Jennifer Weiner’s adult fiction. Â I don’t read a lot of middle grade so I would have missed this one otherwise.
Alice is the neglected child of wealthy New Yorkers who don’t know what to do with her. She doesn’t fit into their vision of what a child of theirs should be. Â She’s messy and clumsy and too big. Â For some reason she never fits into the schools she’s attended. Â Now she is being shipped off to boarding school in upstate New York. Â The school is populated by other misfits who Alice keeps her distance from. Â She knows they will eventually reject her too.
Millie is a Yare. Â They are known as Bigfoot to No-Furs. Â They are quiet and meek. Â Millie is not. Â She wants to meet a No-Fur so much. Â Eventually Millie and Alice meet which brings the Yare tribe into danger from the local humans.
After I read this I thought that my stepdaughter would enjoy it. Â She refused to even look at it so we read it out loud during a road trip. Â She got mad and put her ear buds in so she didn’t have to hear a stupid story. Â We did notice her listening every so often though.
Alice believes that she is fat and ugly and that her hair is a disaster. Â She judges herself and everyone around her very harshly. Â These judgements are presented as facts in the book. Â She mocks people in her mind over any difference. Â She learns to bully people to gain acceptance.
Eventually this all backfires on her and she is an outcast again. Â She learns to accept people for their differences by the end of the book. But I can see people being uncomfortable with the mocking and harsh judging of other characters and viewpoints before this point.
Not all of the issues are resolved at the end so I hope this means that we will be reading more of Alice and Millie.