Monday, June 6, 2016

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday – THE GIRL IN THE WELL IS ME

I've enjoyed two of Karen Rivers' other middle grades, so I was looking forward to reading this one. I wasn't disappointed - there's lots of suspense!

middle grade story of a girl trapped in a wellDescription from Amazon:

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.
The Girl in the Well is Me was written by Karen Rivers and published by Cormorant Books in 2016.

My Take:

I really didn’t like the girls in this book, reminding me of “mean girls” I encountered myself at various times in my life so far. I liked the way more layers of Kammie’s personality and history were revealed as the story continued, and I was scared for what might happen to her. It’s a good thing this was a shorter book that I could read fairly quickly.

For writers: 

I found it interesting to think about how the author created tension and suspense while writing in a stream of consciousness style. A really good example of writing where everything is written in the thoughts of the main character, and realistic in the way her thoughts jump from one idea to another related idea.  

Opening Line:

“The whole thing feels like a prank at first, like something they planned—a joke with a punchline.”


“But, obviously, popular and mean are tied together so tight they’re like those knots that just tighten and tighten no matter how hard you try to untangle them.”

“I start to cry again, but my throat is all clamped up from all that crying before and I can’t breathe, so I stop and instead do useful things, like whisper-screaming HELP every twelve seconds in the hopes of being helped.”

“I stare at the well wall in front of me, which is like looking into a shadow to try and find a light.”

Other Info:

Karen Rivers ( is the author of 18 novels for adults, young adults and middle grade readers. Her middle grades include: Finding Ruby Starling, The Encyclopedia of Me and Waiting to Dive.


  1. Sounds like a different type of story with much of the story in the girl's head. I can see it being a great learning experience for writers to see how that can be done. Glad you liked it.

  2. This was an odd book. I had trouble believing that the girls wouldn't have gotten help immediately, no matter how mean they were. The hallucinations were odd, too. If you're interested in the 48 Hour Book Challenge for next year, let me know!

  3. You make this one sound very enticing. I'm going to find a copy of this unique story.

  4. This sounds like it might be a good mentor text. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the review.

  5. Interesting premise for a MG fiction. I hope my library gets a copy soon. Sounds like a good read.

  6. I think it's hard to write focused on one character. Right now, I'm reading Hatchet with my kids, and I'm amazed at how suspenseful it is with only one character. It sounds like this one is too--and I don't think I've seen much stream of consciousness in MG, so that would be interesting to see.


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