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Ma Bell's Books and stuff

Currently reading

Challenger Deep
Brendan Shusterman, Neal Shusterman
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
Teresa Toten
Bone Gap
Laura Ruby
Finding the Worm (Twerp Sequel)
Mark Goldblatt
Kirby Larson
Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace
Anne Lamott
Killer Instinct
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Laura Hillenbrand
The Night Journal
Elizabeth Crook
Dead End in Norvelt
Jack Gantos

Book for Young Teens with A LOT going on

Tell Me - Joan Bauer

Trust Joan Bauer to write another delightful story with a spunky teen heroine. Throw in a cast of good-hearted characters who are doing their best to face life's challenges and you have a lot going on that is good for youngsters to consider. First there's parental conflict that highlights depression when Anna's dad loses his job and the family experiences the strain he feels. Then there's the mystery element when Anna is shipped off to her grandmother's over the summer while her folks try to sort things out. She sees a young girl about her age who appears to be in trouble, possibly being held against her will. Brave Anna tries to get the police involved but for too long they dismiss her story since she does not have enough details to validate what she saw and hey, she's just a kid. BUT thanks to a wise LIBRARIAN, a relative from Homeland Security, her wise grandmother and the support of all her other friends, Anna is finally able to get the girl's plight investigated. This sequence highlights the societal problem of human trafficking, far too often overlooked in our country. I knew when Bauer set the drama around a nail salon that there were likely multiple cases involving these businesses and modern day slavery. Sure enough, if you search for "nail salons" and "human trafficking" you will find that this is quite a widespread problem, especially for immigrants from Vietnam. If my daughter were still in her teens, I would read this book with her so that we could both benefit from the thought provoking issues therein, as well as an engaging story with a positive ending. After reading too many books about sociopaths, this was a breath of fresh air. There ARE a lot of good people out there!