MPW.70 / 2018 Being Chloe by Victor Hilitski
Victor Hilitski Chicago, Ill.
Team Chapnick

Story Summary

At 11 years-old, Chloe Tool falls roughly in middle of her eight siblings age-wise, with five older and three younger. But she has a chance to accomplish something few of her older siblings have.

After her parents divorced in 2010 Chloe and seven of her eight brothers and sisters have been living with their father, Dallas Tool, in the house he himself was raised in. It makes for a crowded house and while her older brothers and sisters have the bedrooms Chloe and her little bothers sleep on the couches in the living room. Despite the chaotic way of life in their family, the home is filled with love. Their grandmother Mildred (83) enforces a strong religious lifestyle. She teaches bible study classes at the local church that the family attends.

It’s not easy providing for a family of 10 but Dallas does his best to make ends meet. His job with the Mountain Grove Water Department provides a stable income as well as health care, and he encourages his children to have self respect and behave responsibly. “I hope they will not repeat some of the same mistakes I’ve made,” he says.

A sixth-grader at Mountain Grove Middle School, Chloe enjoys her time there with friends and even the assignments she brings home with her. That’s a contrast to some of her older siblings who have dropped out of school, or have experienced problems and are now on a ‘home-school’ program. With her love of school Chloe could be the one Tool sibling to make it to high school graduation.