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The Ashwater Experiment Paperback – April 23, 2001

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A seventh grader has moved around so much that nothing in her environment seems to have a past or future. "This sensitively wrought novel contains enough unique personalities and interesting twists to keep the audience absorbed," wrote PW. Ages 10-14.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-Hillary, 12, has dealt with change all her life. Her free-spirited parents lead a semi-nomadic life traveling between craft fairs, so she has attended 17 different schools. After becoming conditioned to this peripatetic lifestyle, she is dismayed to learn that her family will be spending the next nine months in Ashwater, CA. From her travels, Hillary has learned that every school has its class clown, popular clique, brainy outcast, etc., and it doesn't take long to distinguish these types in her new class. What's different about Ashwater, though, is that these people become more and more real to Hillary as time passes. Amazingly, she becomes friends with both Serena, the queen bee of the in-crowd, and Cass, the smart girl who is a true kindred spirit. Koss's strong characterizations make the relationships believable, and the story of how Hillary manages to stay friendly with such different people is a valuable model for young readers, who often feel forced to choose between certain groups. In the end, Hillary moves from isolation to making connections; by so doing, her friendships bloom and she becomes a stronger, more self-assured person.
Robin L. Gibson, Muskingum County Library System, Zanesville, OH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 8
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (April 23, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141310928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141310923
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,826,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

www.AmyGoldmanKoss.net

Born in Michigan. Now living in California with husband, kids, pets, cars, furniture, vegetable garden...
Over-eating, over-sleeping, over-reading, and typing like mad.

I write to, for, and about people between the ages of 11 and 15 because that is the trickiest, stickiest, and most bizarre age I've lived through --so far.
What I want my readers to remember about my books is that they LOVED them!

And YES I do school and library visits!
Cheers! xoxox Amy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Ashwater Experiment
Did you ever think you were the only real person in the whole world? That everything around you was just there to test your reactions? Well, in this book, The Ashwater Experiment by Amy Goldman Koss, Hillary Siegal thinks this theory is true. Can she be right, that she is the only real person living, or is she just a normal girl?
Hillary is used to moving from town to town and never settling down. Her grandma describes her life and her parents' life as a "circus train." This is because they can't stay put and her parents, for some reason, think they are Peter Pan. When her parents decide to housesit a house in Ashwater, California, Hillary realizes she isn't like other people.
In this book, Hillary jumps to many conclusions. At first, she thinks she is the only real person on Earth. She thought that nothing around her was real, just there to test her reactions. "I sat very still, letting the idea slip into me: My life was a giant experiment and I was the guinea pig. I didn't know who or what was performing the experiment, but I could feel all their invisible eyes on me. I decided to call them the Watchers." Hillary also wrote her thoughts and comments in a journal to the Watchers. "I stopped at the apartment door and imagined that on the other side of the door was absolutely nothing. Space, black and swirling. It would take my opening of the door to make something appear behind it. I opened it, and an entire scene came to life, complete with furniture, characters, even sound effects," Hillary thought. These are some of the things that went on in Hillary's mind.
I think this was a great book. It really interested me while I read it. I think people with big imaginations would be able to read this book.
As you can see, Hillary had a lot of thoughts about the experiment done by the Watchers. Find out what else happens to Hillary, in this book, The Ashwater Experiment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is about a girl, Hillary, who travels all around the U.S.A with her parents. Then one day Hillary's dad says that they're going to Ashwater, California for six months. Hillary dreads it but soon starts to fit in, and doesn't want to leave. There's a lot more to the book, but you'll just have to read it yourself to find out! In the beginning of this book, it's really boring, but it gets a lot better, so keep reading!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
Did you ever have the feeling that you were only an experiment, and that someone was always watching you? This is what goes through the mind of Hillary Siegal when her family decides to settle in Ashwater, California for the school year. She dreams up the idea of “The Watchers,” people who look at her and her different choices and reactions to things, and she comes to believe that she is the only real person. Can it be true that she’s the only real person, as an experiment for The Watchers?
When Hillary’s parents tell her that they will be staying in Ashwater for the entire school year, Hillary is shocked. Her family will be house-sitting for another family that is on a long vacation. Hillary is used to moving around, and not getting used to her new school and tries not to make friends. Now, she’s forced to stay put. She decides that she is an experiment of The Watchers, and Ashwater is a new part of the experiment. Hillary forms a journal in which she writes letters to The Watchers and keeps a list of “Like” and “Don’t Like” things.
As Hillary goes to school, she meets people in the weirdest ways, and they become some of her best friends. One of these important people is Serena Montgomery. At first, Hillary is just Serena’s tutor, and Serena seems like only the “popular girl” to her. Yet, later on, Serena invites Hillary to join her and her friends at the mall and they become great friends. One day during tutoring, Hillary asks Serena if she ever feels like she’s the only real person. Serena replies that she sometimes feels as though she is the only unreal person. This means a lot to Hillary, and she assumes she was wrong about Serena only being the “popular girl”.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Look on October 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book very much, but found it very similar to others with well-written heroines (i.e, Naylor's Alice; Lois Lowry's Anastasia; Betsy Byars; Claudia Mills' characters). Hillary was a engaging girl, very thoughtful and mature, someone YOU would want as a best friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is good, however I agree that it does tend to sound like the many other books with pre-teen girl heroines. I enjoyed this book because of the strange way it is told, exactly through the eyes of a 12 year old girl. Its interesting to see how the author plays stereotypes out, such as the popular girl, and the class clown. The character is very likeable, and its strange the way she reacts to everyone, because they all want to be her friend. Though some parts of this book could be better explained, it was all in all a good read.
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