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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 328
Themes: adversity, family, teen issues
Publisher: Coteau Books
Pub Date: 01/09/2006
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Aba Zytka Jones (Abi) doesn't expect to get anything from anybody. Her dad's stuck in his chair and her moms taken off, but she is going to work out what to do on her own. At least that is what she thinks.

Sixteen, almost seventeen, Abi Jones hasn't got cool clothes, friends, or, since last year, a mother. What she has is a lot of questions. And a need to make a life of her own. Abi lives with her dad in an odd little house by the Fraser River. Over it, actually. It's this location that gives her the nickname "Mud Girl." Sometimes the water flowing under part of the house makes her think they'll both be swept away some day.

The summer before her last year of high school, Abi's solitary life begins to change. A woman she calls Ernestine - because she's so earnest - becomes her Big Sister. The cute guy from the paint shop, Jude, starts to take an interest. And a girl called Amanda offers Abi a summer job cleaning houses, work Abi enjoys more than she could have imagined.

Jude and his two-year-old son, Dyl, present some urgent new questions and Abi has to find the answers fast - what Jude wants from her; how she feels about it; and what Dyl might need from her too.

The life of Abi Jones, the Mud Girl, might be the last thing any teenager would choose. But it's her life, and Abi has to find out whether she's got the courage and intelligence to live it well.

Alison Acheson's teen novel Mud Girl was a finalist for CLA's Book of the Year. She has also publish two juvenile novels and a picture book. Alison Acheson has taught in the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia, and continues to teach and write in the town of Ladner, BC, where she lives with her spouse and three sons.

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