The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

By George Saunders

Illustrated by Lane Smith

“What?” you ask! The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is a fantastically funny, Junior Fiction fantasy story that teaches the world a lesson about kindness and community. The illustrations are hilariously peculiar. The author also gets away with writings that your teachers would perhaps frown upon, such as the last sentence on page 2 has approximately 56 words! (Know that the author, George Saunders, teaches creative writing at Syracuse University in New York and he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2013.)

Persistent means not giving up. Gappers are “bright orange, many-eyed creatures the size of softballs that love to attach themselves to goats. When a gapper gets near a goat, it lets out a high-pitched shriek of joy…” (Saunders), so… the goats do not give any milk. This is a huge problem for the little seaside town of Frip, with only three homes and three yards with goats, because this little town makes money by selling milk. No milk, no income. The children in these homes have to get up eight times a day and brush the gappers off the goats.

Capable is a little girl who lives with her father in their home closest to the sea. In her own smart and kind way, she has methods to get rid of the gappers that are best for the community of Frip. The reactions of her neighbors are quite absurd but you will recognize them as part of human nature.

Read this fantastically funny fantasy that is good for all ages, even adults, to find out how Capable capably saves Frip. But, that is not the end of Frip’s problems, as when one door shuts, sometimes…another opens.

You may want to read The Persistent Gappers of Frip aloud in a group. It is appropriate for all ages, even adults. Paris Public Library has done so twice with adults in a book club. It was a hilarious, good time!

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