Thursday, January 21, 2016

Middle Grade Book Giveaway and Review: The Girl in the Well Is Me

I have THREE copies of The Girl in the Well Is Me up for grabs. For your chance to win, simply post a comment to the blog. Be sure to include your first name, city, state, and email. Deadline for posts is Thursday, February 18 at noon MST. Winners will be chosen on that date randomly by Randomizer. Check your email shortly after noon MST. Winners have 24 hours to respond to my email. Books will ship from the publisher. Publisher is able to ship to U.S. addresses. Good luck and start posting! Pamela

The Girl in the Well Is Me
by Karen Rivers
Algonquin Young Readers
224 pages
ISBN: 9781616205690

Available March 15, 2016

Praise for The Girl in the Well Is Me:

"A brilliantly revealed, sometimes even funny, exploration of courage, the will to live, and the importance of being true to oneself. The catastrophe draws readers in, and the universality of spunky Kammie's life-affirming journey will engage a wide audience. Moving, suspenseful, and impossible to put down."Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“I dare you to pick up this riveting novel without reading straight through to its heart-stopping conclusion. Karen Rivers has penned a dazzling voice, at once hilarious, heartbreaking, and searingly honest. The Girl in the Well Is Me is a triumph.”—Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning author of The One and Only Ivan

“A gripping story that doesn’t shy away from dark places but explores them with heart, humor, and light . . . This book will spark thoughtful conversations about choices, consequences, and what makes us who we are.” —Kate Messner, author of All the Answers

“Funny, surreal, occasionally heartbreaking…a compulsively readable story.” School Library Journal

“This is a fascinatingly well told story that strongly reminded me of Libba Bray’s Going Bovine, but with a completely believable middle grade flavor.”—Teen Librarian Toolbox / School Library Journal

Poignant, profound, and heart-warming, The Girl in the Well Is Me will speak to readers on every level. At times, laugh out loud funny, at times grippingly sad, at times over the top optimistic, at times irreverent, at times harsh, but at all times rich in voice and full of heart and character.

Kammie Summers  is a spunky eleven  year old uprooted from a comfortable existence  in New Jersey where her life was full of a loving family, shared jokes, expensive ice skating lessons, riding lessons and all the trappings of a upper middle class family. It all comes crashing down when her  father is arrested for embezzlement. Now Kammie  lives in a dusty town in Texas with her mother and brother in an old  trailer where  her mother is suddenly hoarding cats and her father is in prison. Kammie's mom works two jobs and her once fun and friendly older brother turns into  a  teenager with an anger problem. Kammie's grandmother recently passed away but Kammie fondly remembers all of her wit and wisdom. Kammie longs for her other life in New Jersey, her normal life. In Texas, she has nothing; all her dreams are dashed. There is no more laughter in her home. Their trailer isn't home; Texas isn't her home.

Kammie tries to make friends with a popular triad of mean girls who pretend they want her to join their group, but they trick her into standing on a piece of wood on the ground. The wood breaks, sending Kammie into an abandoned well. At first, Kammie is mad at the three girls. She knows they did it on purpose and are probably  laughing. As the hours pass and the girls seemingly abandon Kammie, she begins thinking about everything that brought her to this place, this well, where she could quite possibly die. Kammie begins to get claustrophobic and that makes her worry about her asthma. She can't have an asthma attack in the well, and even if she had her inhaler with her, she wouldn't be able to reach it. She can't move her arms at all; they are pinned to the sides of the well. As oxygen in the well begins to dissipate Kammie hallucinates about a coyote who speaks French and zombie goats and dying. She thinks of her dog Hayfield and cries. She cries about missing her grandmother, and about her dad and his lies, she cries that everyone over eleven is a liar.

Readers will LOVE Kammie. She has great heart, resiliency, strength and character. She holds a mirror up to the adults around her and shows their flaws. She holds that same mirror up for herself and realizes that she is a grape...and not a raisin like the liars--she wants her dad to be a grape.

Karen Rivers has crafted an intelligent middle grades read that should be a must read for all ages. Book clubs will have so much to discuss after reading this little gem. I expect the author to be inundated with state and national honors this year. Kudos, Karen Rivers!

So highly recommended I will shout it from the mountaintop (Mt. Franklin), READ this book immediately. It is truly that outstanding. It is a blessing that I was able to read and review the ARC; I am so lucky. Thank you, Algonquin!

Recommended grade 4-up and every reader of every age. This book will speak to you about life, love, truth, forgiveness, and family.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.



  1. THanks so much for the opportunity. This sounds great!
    Winslow, ME

  2. I am super excited about this book and can't wait to read it. I'm a teacher-librarian in Seattle, WA and my email is:

  3. This sounds like a great read!

    Logan, Utah

  4. Oooh, you don't always have books for my elementary library!

    Sudbury, MA

    first name, city, state, and email

  5. I can't wait to read this book!!
    Trussville, AL

  6. Sounds Great!
    Gallatin, MO

  7. Thanks!
    Fort Worth, TX

  8. Wow this sounds fascinating...thanks for the chance!!
    Levittown, NY

  9. Interesting.

    Paris, TN

  10. I just started reading this book. Now, I'm really excited about the book.

  11. This sounds very interesting! Thanks for a chance to win!
    Washington, VA

  12. Cover looks really interesting and the book sounds great!

    1. Jennifer Hill
      Cypress TX

  13. This sounds like a great read. I like the elements of forgiveness and reconciliation.

    Springdale, AR

  14. This sounds like a great book!

    Ocala, FL

  15. This would be great.
    Arapahoe, NC

  16. Love your reviews. Sounds great.
    Yarmouth! MAA

  17. Love your reviews. Sounds great.
    Yarmouth! MAA

  18. Love the cover!
    Spencer, NY

  19. Can't wait to read this. I added to the start of a new order immediately after reading this review. Thank you!

  20. I absolutely love your posts! I read almost all! Can't wait to read this!
    Chari Lyons
    3600 Oneil Blvd McKeesport PA 15132


  21. Wendy
    Fort Worth, TX


  22. It sounds like my students will love it!

    Mary Z
    Scio, NY

  23. I am intrigued by your description of this book. I would love to read it!

    Cassie H
    Houston, TX

  24. Sounds like a book our kids will really enjoy! Our collection "fell down the well" this year...moisture damage bcse of a/c I'm slowly rebuilding the collection.

    Woodstock GA

  25. I've been hearing a lot about this one. I'm intrigued.

    Smithfield, Utah
    hg195 at yahoo dot com

  26. Looks like a good one!
    Great Neck, NY

  27. Hi! I would like to be entered into the contest. Thank you so very much!
    Brenda Lemon
    Chapman KS

  28. Sounds like a great read.

    Springdale, Arkansas

  29. The Girl in the Well is Me sounds wonderful! I would love to try it in my high school library.

    Portsmouth, VA

  30. The reviews are swell
    For "The Girl in the Well"
    How happy we'd be
    If the winner was VPE!

  31. Forgot my contact info!
    Valley Park Elementary
    12301 Lamar
    Overland Park, KS. 66209

  32. Hope to win!
    Winslow Me

  33. I love to find a great MG novel that will speak to my "older" eighth graders as well. Pick me! lol
    Copperas Cove, TX

  34. Hope to win. This books sounds great.
    Franklin School
    Summit, NJ

  35. Looks good!
    Crystal River, FL 34428

  36. The book review sounds like this would be a perfect match for many of our students. We have a transient population that I imagine sometimes struggle with going from a bigger city to our little town. Thank you for putting this book on my radar.

    Julie S.
    Mt. Pleasant, NC

  37. Great review of what sounds like a very meaningful book.
    Adrian, OR