Nature Girl
by Jane Kelley

Random House, 2010. ISBN 978-0-375-85634-1.
Reviewed by Judy Miller
Posted on 10/20/2010


There is a saying: Be careful what you wish for...

Eleven year-old Megan is stuck spending her summer vacation far, far away from her home in New York City and Lucy, her best friend. Megan is miserable on the beautiful rural Vermont farmstead that her artist parents have rented. While her parents easily and happily express themselves through their drawings and paintings Megan doodles and...doodles...and whines, about how miserable she is, how she can't express herself through art, and how she has no talent for anything, other than being a good friend to Lucy.

Sixteen-year-old Genia, Megan's most annoyingly boy-crazy sister, has the same artistic talents as their parents. Megan can draw stick figures and that's about it. To add insult to injury, Internet service and cable aren't available. Megan has had her cell phone use restricted. And civilization, as she sees it, is nonexistent.

Megan is a tween who has embraced the techno age, out of touch with herself and nature. She has a quick mind and biting wit. She is somewhat sassy, opinionated and self-centered, like the majority of girls her age. Megan is searching for herself, although she doesn't realize it.

A situation happens that sets in motion in which Megan will soon make a huge discovery about who she is, what she is capable of, and who she wants to be. She will dig deep and find herself, with the help of her dog Arp and several strangers, like the interesting Trail Blaze Betty. The reader will be with Megan in every step of her journey, laughing out loud and cheering her on.

This is Jane Kelley's fist book. I found it delightful. Nature Girl resonated with me as a mother of girls in the same age range as Megan. I loved Kelly's humor. Megan was very believable and I feel that my eleven year-old will enjoy this book very much.

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Jane Kelley lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and daughter. She has enjoyed many summers in Vermont. Nature Girl is her first book. Find out more about Jane on her website.

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