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star spangled banner, mefi
August 24, 2012 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Help me find this book I read in 7th grade

All i can remember is there was a female protagonist who at one point in the book cut off her pigtail braids and found a hidden box under her desk containing her mothers braids that she cut off at about the same age. I think in the same book she had a male bff that used Star Spangled Banner as curse word euphemism. This would have been 1986-1988 that i read it.
posted by asockpuppet to Media & Arts (2 answers total)
 
The Chicken Pox Papers?
posted by corey flood at 8:17 PM on August 24, 2012


I read this book! I think corey flood is right; the protagonist's cut off braids and antique desk containing her mother's braids are definitely The Chicken Pox Papers. Not sure about the "Star Spangled Banner" euphemism though.

From a book ID webpage:
[Q] This is a book read in the 70's. Little girl I think was named Augusta/Agusta. She was named after an aunt or a long line of Augustas. Title I thought might be "Augusta the Great" or something like this. She had chicken pox. She was so itchy cut her braids/hair off. She had an antique desk in her room that was her namesake's and she carved her initials along with the other Augustas initials. She found braids with faded red ribbon in a secret compartment of the desk and added her braids to it.

[A1] There is a 1977 book by Angus McGill and Dominic Poelsma called Augusta the Great, but it's a collection of comic strips that were originally published in the newspaper. It's more likely that the book you're searching for is The Chicken Pox Papers by Susan Terris (author) and Gail Rockwell (illustrator) (1976). The cover of the paperback shows a red-haired girl holding a pair of scissors and looking at her newly shorn head---there's a heap of red hair on the flat surface in front of her. Unfortunately, I haven't read this book, and the only online description I can find isn't very detailed: "When she contracts a case of chicken pox, a ten-year-old writes a series of letters that express her frustrations." Out of print but inexpensive and not hard to find.

[A2] It's not my stumper, but having read THE CHICKEN POX PAPERS, I can confirm that the other poster was right in suggesting it. The girl's nickname is Gussie (short for Augusta? can't remember) and the element of chicken pox, cut hair and antique desk with hidden compartment are all in the book.~from a librarian
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:28 PM on August 24, 2012


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