Nature Girl

by Jane Kelley
236 pages, Contemporary
Reviewed by bookRacoon

Could have been a good adventure story; has unnecessary content.


Megan Knotts is forced to go to Vermont for summer vacation, and she doesn't like a minute of it. When her sister Ginia finally pushes her over her limit, Megan decides to hike the Appalachian Trail to get to her best friend in Massachusetts. Her hike changes her and the people she knows.


Megan's best friend's mom, Alison, is suffering from lymphoma. At first, Megan doesn't really care about Alison, only that Lucy can't spend the summer over. Megan is also technically running away from home, even though she sends notes to her family telling them that she is all right. However, she does change by the end of the story.

Spiritual Content

Megan says that no one controls the weather, or else it wouldn't rain on her. This book also has a subtle evolutionary statement: "after all, Arp, a dog used to be a wolf."


Megan gets pretty beat up by the trail.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Megan tries one cigarette, realizes that it is disgusting, and throws the pack away.

Sexual Content

Ginia and boyfriend Sam "moaningly make out." Two girls "are lying on top of some guys."

Crude or Profane Language or Content

"Pee" is used, as well as rude words like "shut up."


This book really could have done without the sexual content; also, it was kind of annoying that the "old" Megan didn't care about Alison's cancer - she was only mad that Lucy couldn't play. This book might have really been another My Side of the Mountain, or close. But it certainly isn't.

Fun Score: 3.5
Values Score: 2
Written for Age: 11-12

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