The Girl in the Well is Me
Kammie just moved to a town she refers to as "Nowheresville," in Texas. In order to hang out with the popular girls, she agreed to pass some challenges, like cutting her hair. However, the latest challenge has gone wrong, and now Kammie is inside a well, with her arms stuck. The girls are laughing at her. They're laughing at her. Kammie wonders why she ever cared what those girls thought, what will become of her torn up family, and whether she will ever escape her predicament.
If you are familiar with the nature of worry, you may appreciate what the author has done here, in terms of jumping from extreme to extreme in a funny/not-funny series of imaginings. Something is crawling on her foot and she can't reach it - it's probably a venomous spider - she definitely feels weak and that must be a spider bite symptom - but if it's on her bare foot, her shoes are missing - the shoes were expensive and now she lost them and can't afford new ones . . .
There are a lot of things going wrong with Kammie's life right now - so much so that she talks about not dying, but "un-being." Pieces of her story unfold and we discover that in addition to trouble with the mean girls, her mother is falling apart and her brother ignores her, and her father is in prison for a crime he committed. There's good and bad here - the book suffers because when one character is stuck somewhere alone, you have the Castaway movie effect - in order to have dialogue, you need internal monologue, flashback, and/or imaginary friends, and the book uses all of these. There is some language that would not be appropriate for a read-aloud in most U.S. elementary schools.
Fun Fact: The author was born and raised in Nanaimo, British Columbia
"'We ARE helping. DUH!'
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