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The Ashwater Experiment
by Amy Goldman Koss (Goodreads Author)
Hillary Siegal and her footloose parents live on the road. To Hillary, each move is an escape from becoming one of the "sleepwalkers" she's seen at all of the seventeen schools she's attended. But then the Siegals land in Ashwater, California. And this time, they're staying put. Seventh grade isn't going to be a typical year for Hillary. What can she do if she can't run?
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 23rd 2001 by Puffin
(first published June 1st 1999)
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Ashwater Experiment follows a girl with parents who have a wandering spirit. She settles down for a few months in one spot and for the first time becomes integrated into the group finding out more about friends and enemies. A story about discovery, it actually doesn't go anywhere. There isn't a climatic victory or crushing defeat. Nothing offensive or crass in this book. Easily read by late middle schoolers.
Although sometimes I felt like this was a little slow going, it showed a girl's reaction as she moved into a new school, made new friends, reconciled herself to her interests as opposed to the popular interests. There is a lot of character development, owing to her upbringing and ability to think outside of the box. A coming of age story.
An interseting read about a girl who comes from a Hippie type family that moves constantly and she learns what roots are all about. I found this interesting because I also came from a hippie family and moved more than 20 times during the years I was in school, so I could relate.
I really do love how the character grows in this story. I loved how Hillary starts out feeling disconnected, and I think everyone thinks at one point that they are the center of the universe literally, but she grows through the story and comes out different in the end.