Every time Lisa and Molly cross paths, disaster seems to follow close behind. Whether they meet in gym class or get assigned to the same raft on the seventh-grade class camping trip, outgoing Lisa and reserved Molly can’t seem to find any common ground. An argument during the raft trip gets both girls into trouble. When it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, Molly and Lisa are accidentally left behind as the rest of the group heads downstream, unaware that the girls are missing. Stranded together in a rugged California wilderness, can these enemies join forces to survive?
Amy Tiemann’s debut novel follows the adventures of Lisa and Molly as they struggle to survive seventh grade, the wilderness, and each other. High Water is the perfect choice for summer reading or a girls’ book club selection.
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“My greatest hope for High Water is that this book will inspire readers to share their own stories with each other. Whether you discuss the book with one friend, or a group, I hope you will use Lisa and Molly’s story as a jumping off point to discover what is important to you. This discussion guide is designed to help get the conversation rolling.” – Author Amy Tiemann
- As the story is written, High Water is not set in a specific year. How do the challenges of middle school in 2012 compare to the issues girls faced growing up in the 1980s or 1990s ?
- At Loyola Middle School, there were definite “cool” and “scut” groups. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being part of either group? In your school, are there more options than these two narrow categories that defined “fitting in” versus being an outsider?
- Molly was bullied in several ways, some more obvious than others. What were the ways that she was bullied, and how did she deal with these situations? Would you have reacted differently if you had been in her shoes? If Molly was your friend and asked you for advice about how to fit in better at school, what would you tell her?
- How do the relationships between the seventh-grade girls and boys in High Water compare with the girl-boy interactions in your school or town?
- Both Lisa and Molly share the experience of feeling that other people see them differently from the outside than they feel on the inside. Describe a situation where the image other people had of you did not match your true self.
- While out in the wilderness, Molly and Lisa talk about the ways that their parents try to protect them. Have you ever shared the feeling that you “wished the world belonged to us”?
- What were Lisa and Molly’s most realistic and unrealistic fears during their survival experience? What were the sources of their least realistic fears?
- What were the biggest mistakes Molly and Lisa made in the wilderness? What did they do well? Did they make decisions that you disagreed with?
- Rayna is a complicated character. She’s definitely a villain from Molly’s point of view. What are Rayna’s strengths and weaknesses from Lisa’s perspective?
- What do you think will happen when Molly and Lisa see each other in school after surviving their wilderness adventure?
- What was your favorite part of the book? Choose a passage you liked to read out loud to the group.
- Describe an adventurous trip you would like to take some day!
Talk back to author Amy Tiemann by sending email to email@example.com. You can also help spread the word about High Water by posting your review on Amazon.com.