For MMGM, I am recommending Tell Me by Joan Bauer.
Here's the publisher's description:
Award-winning author Joan Bauer's latest novel is full of warmth, humor, hope, and a healthy dose of suspense
The unofficial town motto is “Nothing bad ever happens in Rosemont” where twelve-year-old Anna has come to stay with her grandmother, Mim, hoping to forget her worries about her parents’ troubled marriage. She’ll be busy with the town’s annual Flower Festival, a celebration with floats and bands that requires weeks of preparations.
But before long, Anna finds herself involved in a very big problem. When she observes a girl her own age who seems to be being held against her will, Anna can’t forget the girl’s frightened eyes and she is determined to investigate. “When you see something, say something” she’s been told—but what good does it do to speak if no one will listen? Luckily, a take-charge girl like Anna is not going to give up.
Told with Joan Bauer’s trademark mixture of humor and heart, Tell Me will enthrall her many fans and win her new ones.
This is an absolutely fantastic book! I haven't meant to, but my last several recommendations have all intended to broaden one's understanding of people's situations, and this book is no different. The main conflict of the novel is Anna's finding of a girl who seems to have been imprisoned, in a way, by several people. As Anna shares the information she has found with the police and government, she helps to uncover a conspiracy of human trafficking and save those who were being trafficked. This book showed me, as it will other readers, how common human trafficking can be and how paying attention can save many people. This main plot point does not make the book overly upsetting, however, as the novel is filled with all sorts of fun characters (Anna meets several students who are in their school's band and befriends a teenage girl named Taylor and her horse, Zoe) and is set in a wonderful small town filled with personality and unique traditions. Finally, the struggles of Anna's parents as her father tries to deal with his anger issues are depicted very well. Anna's father is shown to care about Anna and his wife and to simply have flaws, however major, that he is working to control. All in all, Tell Me is a great novel that packages great writing and many unique situations into one book that anyone will enjoy!