The Middle of Nowhere
About the Book
The Middle of Nowhere is about a troubled 15-year-old girl, Lexie Crockett, who enters a residential treatment program somewhere in the Western United States. Based on personal experiences, the novel tells of the sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious adventures of the thousands of girls who live away from home in residential facilities.As events unfold, Lexie finds a bond with the other girls and with Annie Salinas, a gifted counselor, who helps her get closer to her goal of going home. Parents of some of the girls visit the program, and struggle with finding the line that is always shifting between understanding the girls’ problems and holding them accountable for their actions. When a large company moves to buy the facility, the staff resists—and the girls find some ways of their own to challenge the new owners. Each of the girls brings her own background to this challenge—broken homes, drug addiction, mental and emotional instability, along with ingenuity, resilience, and a fierce desire for independence. More than 14,000 girls live in such programs, and the book makes painfully clear how difficult their lives are—and why some of them succeed.
About the Author
Sid Gardner has worked for nearly five decades in the field of public policy involving children and families. He has served in the federal government as a sub-Cabinet appointee, as an elected official in local government, and has consulted with dozens of state and local agencies. He is the author of four novels and numerous works of non-fiction.Mr. Gardner has moved between fiction and non-fiction writing as a means of expressing his views about the problems facing the nation and its children and families. He has graduate degrees from Princeton University and from Hartford Seminary, reflecting his commitment to responsive government and social justice. He lives in Irvine, California, with his wife, Nancy Young, and two of their four children. Together they founded a nonprofit agency that works on issues of children and families.