- This article is about the book. For the movie, see Chrissa Stands Strong (movie).
- Author: Mary Casanova
- Illustrator: Richard Jones
- First published: 2009
- Chrissa Maxwell
- Gwen Thompson
- Sonali Matthews
- Nana: Chrissa's grandmother. Raises mini-llamas.
- Meg Maxwell: Chrissa's mother, a doctor.
- Paul Maxwell: Chrissa's father, a potter who runs Maxwell Pottery.
- Tyler Maxwell: Chrissa's brother, who is older by eleven months.
- Tara: the leader of the Mean Bees.
- Jadyn: one of the Mean Bees.
Chapter By Chapter Summary
Chapter One: Back-to-School Shopping
Chrissa and her mother go shopping for new clothes for school. As Chrissa is trying on an outfit, Tara comes and compliments Chrissa. Chrissa is shocked that Tara is actually talking to her in a nice way. Tara then suggests that she and Chrissa forgive each other and become friends. Chrissa is confused and sort of happy as she leaves the store. When she tells Sonali and Gwen that she might give Tara a chance, they tell her not to trust Tara.
Chapter Two: New Beginnings
Chrissa and her brother Tyler are swimming in the lake by their house. Tyler is showing off about his dives, much to his sister's annoyance. Then Gwen and Sonali show up and swim with Chrissa. When they come out of the water, Chrissa tells Gwen and Sonali what Tara had said back in the mall about being friends. Gwen and Sonali tell Chrissa to not trust Tara, since she could be trying to pull a mean prank on Chrissa. Chrissa is unconvinced. Later on, after Chrissa, Gwen, and Sonali finish building the stall for one of Chrissa's llamas, someone sends Sonali a text message. It said "Watch out for Chrissa, the llama-faced girl!" Chrissa doesn't believe it at first, then suspects Tyler. Sonali and Gwen think it was Tara. Chrissa tries to tell them that there was no proof that Tara sent it, but her friends aren't sure.
Chapter Three: Repairs
Chrissa and her family add the finishing touches to the barn for Chrissa's llama, who is going to have a baby. Her father lets Chrissa and Tyler hang out with their friends for the rest of the day. Chrissa calls Gwen and Sonali. Tyler calls his friend Joel. The 5 of them have a water balloon fight on rafts on the lake. Tyler sleeps over at his friend Joel's house while Chrissa and her friends have a camp out at her house. Chrissa is still trying to prove that Tara is willing to be nice, but Gwen and Sonali think Chrissa's crazy.
Chapter Four: Tryouts
Chrissa's mom wakes the girls (Chrissa, Gwen, and Sonali) up from their camp out to go to tryouts for the swim team. Chrissa and her friends bike to the tryouts. Gwen doesn't try out because she isn't a strong swimmer, but becomes assistant coach. Chrissa realizes that there are a lot of people there, but tries her best and hopes she makes the team. In the changing rooms, Tara smiles and compliments Chrissa. Chrissa insists to Gwen and Sonali that Tara is now a sweet girl. They still don't believe Chrissa.
Chapter Five: Shifting Breezes
Chrissa and her friends find out the results from yesterday's tryout. Her brother Tyler made the diving and swim team, and so did Chrissa. Sonali makes the swimming and diving team along with Tara. On the way back, Chrissa starts thinking about friendships with Tara. The 3 girls go out on the lake in a sailboat. Gwen and Sonali laugh at calling Tara "Boom-Boom", but Chrissa objects. Then, accidentally, Chrissa knocks Gwen and Sonali off the boat. Chrissa takes a long time to reach shore and finds out that Gwen and Sonali left.
Chapter Six: Taking Sides
Chrissa is having tea with her grandmother (Nana) and reading about llamas. Chrissa and Nana show the expecting mother llama (Cosmos) to the new barn. Gwen comes over and talks with Chrissa about the swim team. Chrissa finds out that she would be put on the relay team with Tara and Sonali. Then Sonali comes with bad news that someone posted a horrible message about her on the school's team message board online. They wrote that Sonali had a horrible skin disease that might infect other swimmers and shouldn't be allowed to swim. Sonali starts to cry and knows it was Tara. Chrissa defends Tara. Gwen and Sonali decide to take a break from Chrissa and leave her house that moment.
Chapter Seven: Tangles
Chrissa goes up in her room to cry. Then she dials Tara's phone number and start to talk. Chrissa invites Tara to her house on Saturday. Tara seems pleased. On Saturday, Cosmos is ready to give birth. Chrissa and her family watch. After the baby is born, Chrissa and her family cries happily and silently. Then Tara comes with a loud arrival, but then quiets down when she sees the baby llama. Chrissa feels sad that Gwen and Sonali aren't there. Then Tara and Chrissa practice diving in the lake with Tyler. It goes well. After Tara goes home, Sonali calls and finds out that Tara was at Chrissa's house and saw the baby llama first. Chrissa tries to apologize, but makes Sonali really mad and hangs up.
Chapter Eight: Dark, Dreary, Dismal Day
Chrissa walks into her grandfather's library and checks the computer. To her horror, she finds 2 new messages posted on the school swim team website. One of them said that Gwen was stupid and shouldn't be the assistant coach if she can't add two plus two. The other said that Sonali's ugly long hair should be cut off because it could get caught in the pool drain. One of the e-mails that Sonali sent suggested that Chrissa did it, since she was developing a friendship with Tara. Chrissa is heartbroken and says she didn't do it. Chrissa goes outside to be with the llamas and begins to cry.
Chapter Nine: Teamwork
Chrissa didn't feel hungry that night. The next morning at practice, Tara greets Chrissa, but Chrissa responds quietly. Chrissa feels horrible about the messages and that Gwen and Sonali thought she did it. Before they start practice, the coach explains cyber-bullying and everything that's been going on online. Now, no one can write any message without showing it to the coach first. The coach puts Chrissa, Sonali, Tara, and Rachel on one team. It goes well. In the changing room, Chrissa confronts Tara about the messages. Tara said she didn't do anything. Chrissa finds out that Tara and Sonali used to go shopping together for clothes over the summer. Then Chrissa knew why Tara seemed kinder. Chrissa is confused about who the bully is writing the messages.
Chapter Ten: Ugly Messages
Chrissa finds out that someone had posted a horrible message about her. It was a picture of Chrissa all marked up with a black marker, stating that Chrissa is the ugliest girl in the world. Chrissa begins to cry. She goes and tells her father all that's been going on. He gives her a piece of clay to work on to relive stress. Chrissa then tells her mother about it too. Chrissa's parents decide to put a stop to it. They tell Chrissa that it's going to be OK and take her inside for dinner. Chrissa feels relieved that she is getting help.
Chapter Eleven: Over the Edge
The next morning, Chrissa feels terrible. She tells her mother at breakfast that she wants to move back to Iowa. Her mother tells her that if you try to run away from the bullies, then they win. Chrissa is worried that she is being a tattletale. Her mother explains that tattling is doing it to be mean, but telling is to protect yourself. At practice, during her fifteen minutes of free time, Tara tells a joke to Chrissa, who takes it badly. Tyler is showing off, which Chrissa says that someone should teach him a lesson about bragging jokingly. Tara decides to have a little fun, doing what Chrissa said. As Tyler is about to jump, Tara shouts "Corkscrew" and messes Tyler up. He hits the diving board with his head and nearly drowns from being unconscious. Tyler is taken to the hospital. Then Chrissa sees Gwen and Sonali waving at her. Chrissa feels better that they still are her friends.
Chapter Twelve: Hospital Worries
Tyler suffered a concussion, but nothing more. Chrissa is so relieved and immediately goes to visit him. Tyler has an ice pack on his head, but Chrissa is just glad he's alive.When Tyler starts to talk a little, Chrissa begins to knit, being told that it would calm yourself. Nana tells Chrissa what happened was a mistake and that we can learn from our mistakes. Gwen calls and tells Chrissa that she and Sonali have been very worried. Chrissa feels a lot better. Tyler is starting to feel better which makes his family less worried. Chrissa gives him a kiss before they leave.
Chapter Thirteen: Brain Scan
Tyler is released from the hospital the following morning. Chrissa and Tyler play games during the car ride home. Chrissa's parents tell her that she has been suspended for 2 weeks from swim practice. Chrissa is disappointed, but accepts. Then Chrissa learns that it was Jadyn who was posting the messages. Chrissa is shocked because Jadyn is always in the background. Chrissa's parent want to take Chrissa over to Jadyn's house for an apology. Chrissa is nervous about going, but agrees.
Chapter Fourteen: Techno Trouble
Chrissa and her parents arrive at Jadyn's house. Jadyn's parents are very upset and make Jadyn apologize to Chrissa. Jadyn says she did it because Tara was hanging out with Chrissa and that Jadyn wouldn't have any friends. Chrissa then questions Jadyn if Tara had anything to do with this and the reply is no. Chrissa learns that Tara is really being true and wants to be friends sincerely. Jadyn accepts her mistakes and Chrissa tells her to apologize to Gwen and Sonali. Jadyn's parents learned a lot and decided to look up other types of bullying. They have an idea to let the parents have a meeting and work with the school about bullying. Chrissa's father agrees to have it at his house.
Chapter Fifteen: Looking Ahead
The next day, Chrissa apologizes to Gwen and Sonali for not being a good friend. They all forgive each other. Then Gwen and Sonali apologize to Tara for suspecting her. Tara forgives them and asks if they want to start over and be friends with one another. Later on, the first meeting is held. Many parents came and it was a success. Gwen's mom and Sonali's parents are good friends. Chrissa shows Gwen and Sonali the baby llama Starburst. Chrissa's art teacher came and Chrissa shows her the tiles that she, Gwen, Sonali, and Tara have been decorating. Each says a word that helps build friendships. Later, the principal makes a speech about bullying. Then Chrissa, Gwen, and Sonali go over and ask Tara and Jadyn if they would like to play cards with them and Tyler. Tara and Jadyn agree and everything is forgiven. Life is back to normal and Chrissa couldn't wish for anything better.