Summary (from Goodreads):
“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.”
Fun fact: this was one of the first books I got at ALA. I was running around and was in the Penguin booth when I saw my friend Hannah, who was in line for this. I was all, “What’s the book?” and Hannah demanded that I also get in line. Moral of the story: listen to Hannah.
As an FYI, this is middlegrade. I point that out to say this: while this book deals with human trafficking, it’s a really good introduction to it in terms of explaining what it is without scarring young readers for life.
I love the message of this book, which is that anyone can do something to make the world a better place. Anna is a girl who pays attention and so she notices something that maybe not many people would. And even more importantly, she gets involved. She doesn’t just shrug and say “Not my business” and go on about her day. When the police don’t pay enough attention, she keeps going until she finds someone who will listen and help.
(Yes, I love Anna. We need more Annas.)