The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers
Age Range: 10 – 13 years | Grade Level: 5 – 8 | Hardcover: 224 pages | Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers (March 15, 2016)
About The Girl in the Well is Me:
Longing to be one of the popular girls in her new town, Kammie Summers has fallen into a well during a (fake) initiation into their club. Now Kammie’s trapped in the dark, counting the hours, waiting to be rescued. (The Girls have gone for help, haven’t they?)
As hours pass, Kammie’s real-life predicament mixes with memories of the best and worst moments of her life so far, including the awful reasons her family moved to this new town in the first place. And as she begins to feel hungry and thirsty and light-headed, Kammie starts to imagine she has company, including a French-speaking coyote and goats that just might be zombies.
Karen Rivers has created a unique narrator with an authentic, sympathetic, sharp, funny voice who will have readers laughing and crying and laugh-crying over the course of physically and emotionally suspenseful, utterly believable events.
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My Thoughts on The Girl in the Well is Me:
Kammie is stuck in a well. The well covering gave way while she was performing a song on top of it, and now she’s stuck with no way out. As she waits for help to come, she begins thinking about her life and everything that led up to her current predicament.
I’m torn on this book. On the down side, large chunks of it are dedicated to a young girl’s rambling thoughts that don’t seem to have any importance behind them. The first half of the book was especially slow, gradually building up to more important memories and the truths about Kammie and her family. I wasn’t fond of the story jumping between Kammie in the well to her flashbacks and memories.
On the positive side, Kammie has a wonderful experience of self-awakening while she is in the well. After much struggle, she gets honest with both herself and the reader, and comes to some very important conclusions. There are also some funny parts in the book. At one point I was laughing so hard I was crying. Kammie has a distinct, believable voice that brings her character to life.
The Girl in the Well is Me is a book I can see being very popular with English teachers and librarians, but may not be as well received by kids. It’s funny, but it also has a deeper side that could get lost on the audience it’s intended for.
Content: Language (some curse words, vulgar language, and “fart jokes”)
Source: I received an advanced readers copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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