Mayday by Karen Harrington
What it’s about: Seventh-grader Wayne Kovoks has some problems. His father is a jerk with a new family and no time for Wayne and his grandfather is a drill sergeant (literally). He is managing-barely-when it all comes crashing down. Returning from his uncle’s funeral the flight carrying Wayne and his mother crashes. Wayne and his mother survive but his injuries prevent him from speaking. This is particularly unfortunate because talking is the only thing Wayne feels he is good at. As difficult as the situation is Wayne is in for an even bigger surprise when he finds out what happened during and immediately after the crash-something he doesn’t remember.
Why I recommend it: A deep and thoughtful coming-of-age story. Wayne feels his ability to talk about anything and everything is the only thing he has going for him-and that is taken away. But Wayne learns during his forced silence he is so much more that he had ever imagined.
Fight Like a Girl: 50 feminists who changed the world by Laura Barcella
What it’s about: Beginning in the mid-18th century with Mary Wollstonecraft this book gives a brief, concise bio of 50 great women who advanced the cause of equal rights.
Why I recommend it: A great starting point for anyone who is interested in the true story of the struggle for equal rights.
The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: pastor, spy, unlikely hero by Patricia McCormick
What it’s about: Born into a wealthy, academic German family in 1906 shy, sweet Dietrich Bonhoeffer grows up during the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich. One of 8 children who all choose science and math careers Dietrich opts for the clergy and his belief in the “Universal Church”; a church for all mankind.
Why I recommend it: How far are good people willing to go to combat evil? I hope as far as Dietrich Bonhoeffer. And I would like to think I could be just as brave and self-sacrificing.