Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Valerie Hobbs
Publisher: D&M Publishers, Inc.
Minnie, a quiet middle school girl, and her family settle into a new home, school, and employment situation. At his last job, Minnie's father stood up to his unethical boss and was fired. As Minnie's mother begins to work and Minnie's veteran uncle who suffers from PTSD moves into their basement, their family dynamic becomes fairly tense. At her new school, Minnie's English teacher causes an uproar in the community because of her unorthodox teaching methods, and these methods cause rumors of her sexual orientation to come to a head in a city council meeting. Minnie’s first and only friend is a Muslim girl who is bullied online and in person for wearing her hijab to school. These issues bring Minnie to the cusp of action and she decides to take a stand on issues that are important to her.
As this world becomes more complicated, so does growing up. Minnie McClary Speaks Her Mind takes a look at the way major political and social issues affect youth today. This book addresses homosexuality, embezzlement, marital issues, Islamic prejudice, PTSD, war, and bullying. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but the cover and paper definitely enhances the experience of a bookworm like myself. The bright yellow and red cover, with a striking silhouette of a young girl standing on a chair giving a speech draws in the emerging activist. The font, paper, etc. are perfect for a middle grade reader. The message of this book is just as bold as the cover: speak out and be heard, no matter your age! This is an excellent topic for the up and coming generation, to help them become involved politically and in the community.