Back to my regular book feature. This week, I have a good one on trusting your instincts and speaking up when you suspect someone is in trouble.
Is a girl in trouble?
What can I do?
What should I do?
I mean ...
What should anybody do?
This is the story of what I did, along with
the amazing people who put themselves out there to help.
So Anna has been "arranged" to stay with her grandmother, Mim, in a small town blooming with flowers and bustling with energy for their upcoming Flower Festival.
Almost right away, Anna finds a gig playing a petunia, toughest flower in the garden.
Sounds like a sweet break for everyone, right?
Only, one day, Anna spots a girl with frightened eyes being dragged around by a nasty Asian woman and hollered at by a foul-looking driver. They screech out in their van and nearly crash into another car.
The side door opens.
The girl with the frightened eyes jumps out and tries to escape.
The foul-looking driver shouts, picks her up and stashes her back inside the van. They drive off.
And Anna is the only one who has witnessed all that.
What is she to do? That girl is in trouble! Or is she? Maybe Anna was mistaken? Maybe she remembered wrong? Who will believe her anyway? More importantly, who will help her help that girl with the frightened eyes?
Yes, slavery still exists in our generation.
A heavy subject. Yet that's not what this story is all about.
This story is about a young person sensing that something is wrong and choosing to speak up about it. We need more Annas. We need more toxic-fighting cranberries and tough petunias amongst us.
I wonder if you remember Almost Home? (The middle-grade story about a girl being sent to live with others because her mother couldn't get her act together and how she inspired the neighbourhood to paint their doors with their bravest colours? The one with an adorable dog on the cover?) Joan Bauer's heroines are independent and witty. They always do their best and keep their spirits strong in troubled times. Can't wait to get to her other books.
Have you ever witnessed something that didn't feel quite right and wondered if you should call the authorities? And did you?