Dig Too Deep

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 at least finish high school and put some distance between herself and her mother—or 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. And when Granny’s lingering cold turns out to be something much worse, Liberty wonders if somebody at the mine is hiding the truth about the water. She starts to investigate and is soon plunged into a world of secrets, lies, threats, and danger. Her searches for answers and justice lead to even tougher questions—should she turn to violence and end up like her mother? Give up her quest for the sake of keeping the peace? Or keep fighting until the mine is shut down for good?

  • 272 Pages
  • 5.5" x 8.25"
  • 9780807515808
  • April 2016

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 272 Pages
  • 5.5" x 8.25"
  • 9780807515815
  • April 2017

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807515822
  • April 2016

Other Places to Buy


  • The author brings important environmental issues to light without being didactic. Recommended for fans of Carl Hiassen.

    - School Library Journal

  • Lib is a finely-drawn character, and the dialogue and pacing of this debut are strong.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • Allgeyer brings rural Appalachia to life and shines a bright light on a troubling trend in natural resource extraction.

    - Booklist

  • This novel will appeal to a wide range of readers not only for its poignant topic but also for its protagonist. Liberty Briscoe is a hero of a narrator: intelligent, spunky, determined, and relatable.

    - VOYA

Awards & Accolades

  • 2017 Green Earth Book Award
  • 2016 Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award Notable Book

Common Core

RL.9-10.1,2,3,4,5,10 SL.9-10.1,1a,1b,1c,1d,2,3,4,5,6 L.9-10.3,4,4a,4d,5,5a,5b,6 W.9-10.1,2,4,5,6, ,8,9,10