The Wild Women of Lake Anna
The Wild Women of Lake Anna is a finalist in ForeWord magazine's 2005 Book of the Year for juvenile fiction!
Eleven-year-old Bailey Fish is abruptly sent from Southwest Florida by her mother to live with her grandmother, Sugar, in Virginia. While Bailey adjusts to the new surroundings, her grandmother is investigating the source of pollution in nearby Contrary Creek, where there used to be gold mining.
To complicate matters, a neighbor is out to get Sugar. He is the father of Justin Rudd, a bully on Bailey's school bus.
Justin's father doesn't upset Sugar because she comes from a family of "wild women." She proudly tells Bailey stories about all of them, including the fashionable Mae, who was a spy during World War I. Bailey's relationship with the Rudds is further complicated when she is asked by her teacher to help Justin's little sister with reading.Inspired by Sugar's stories and what she finds in her grandmother's attic -- a secret box of letters and Mae's hat -- Bailey decides to become a wild woman herself. She heads into a dark woods to look for a former gold mine and gold nuggets for her school project. But what she discovers is not what she expects. . .
History includes the development of Lake Anna for the nuclear power plant, and gold mining in Central Virginia, especially Contrary Creek.
Here's an excerpt. Don't miss the excitement of the whole book
Behind her, the crackling of branches was closer and closer. [Bailey's] ankle burned with pain. I'm doomed, Bailey thought, as she lay down on the cold leaves, closed her eyes, and prepared to be eaten alive.
Bailey felt the bear licking her fingers as it got ready to take a bite. When she opened her eyes to have a look at the animal, Bailey screamed . . .
"I loved this book. The characters are well developed. They encounter and react to events in ways you can understand. The story moves along quickly, and the short chapters will be particularly enticing to reluctant readers. Although this is a fictional story, there are plenty of factual details that will grab kids' attention. Readers of all ages can enjoy this fast-paced adventure about Bailey Fish, a typical 11-year-old girl. Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a wonderful, wholesome story with the elements kids love: characters they can relate to, adventure, and mystery." --The Reading Tub
“This book (and the series as a whole) makes for great reading for all boys and girls ages 8-12 who enjoy action and adventure (and it’s not a bad read for adults, as this reviewer can attest!). Suzanne Hudson, Cooperative Living magazine
"I couldn't put it down. My favorite part was when she goes off into the woods and solves the mystery." Caitlin Hamlin, fourth-grader, Northern Virginia
"Bailey is a good character because her family is wild! Rachel read it too!" Sophie of Portland, Oregon
Sample Book Club Question: What should kids do when other kids make fun of them? Should Bailey have told Sugar that Justin was being mean on the bus?
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