Summary (from Goodreads):
“With her mother facing prison time for a violent political protest, seventeen-year-old Liberty Briscoe has no choice but to leave her Washington, DC, apartment and take a bus to Ebbottsville, Kentucky, to live with her granny. There she can finish high school and put some distance between herself and her mother– her ‘former’ mother, as she calls her. But Ebbottsville isn’t the same as Liberty remembers, and it’s not just because the top of Tanner’s Peak has been blown away to mine for coal. Half the county is out of work, an awful lot of people in town seem to be sick, and the tap water is bright orange–the same water that officials claim is safe to drink. When Granny’s lingering cold turns out to be something much worse, Liberty is convinced the mine is to blame, and starts an investigation that quickly plunges her into a world of secrets, lies, threats, and danger. Liberty isn’t deterred by any of it, but as all her searches turn into dead ends, she comes to a difficult decision: turn to violence like her former mother or give up her quest for good.”
This is such an interesting book and something that I generally don’t know much about. Basically as far as I know, most of the time big corporations wreck the environment but I had no idea the depth of the damage they could do.
Liberty is living in her grandmother’s tiny town since her mom is in prison, and it’d be horrible enough except that things are really weird: the water is orange. Not a little rusty, actually orange. Bright orange. And the government is like, “Nope, TOTALLY FINE to drink.”
Except a lot of people have cancer…including, now, Liberty’s grandmother.
And so Liberty decides that she’s going to get to the bottom of it, even though everyone is against her. (The mine that may or may not* have polluted the water is the biggest employer in the town, and no one wants to risk losing their jobs. So they view this outsider asking questions and causing trouble as a major threat.)
But Liberty’s not giving up; it’s the only thing she can do to help her grandmother.
* = Okay, of COURSE they polluted the water.