If I’ve been doing anything during winter break, it’s been reading. I’ve read a lot of books — the good, the bad, and the ugly — but lucky for you, I’m here to tell you which ones are absolute must-reads. I hope you enjoy these personal 5-star-rated recommendations, and don’t hesitate to leave your own recommendations in the comments!
1. Threads by Ami Polonsky
This story is centered around twelve-year-old Clara, who is grieving the loss of the recent death of her adopted sister, Lola. One day in a department store, Clara finds herself rummaging through a purse, only to find a desperate note asking for help. The note is from 13-year-old thirteen-year-old Yuming, who is enslaved in a factory in Beijing. Yuming fears that she could spend her entire life stitching at this illegal factory with poor living conditions and therefore seizes the moment to discretely slip this note into one of the purses she made.
Clara is determined to find Yuming, so she tries to persuade her grieving parents to join her on a vacation to China. Whether or not Clara finds Yuming is up to you to find out. I will say that this ending was not what I expected, so I urge you to give this a read!
2. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is a great author, and I would say that this is my favorite book I have read by her. The main character in this book, Sydney, is just another average girl with a not-so-average family. Her brother, Peyton, although charismatic and good-looking on the outside, is painfully destructive and irresponsible on the inside. This personality of his causes him to be involved in a drunk driving episode which sends him to jail. Sydney worries that her parents aren’t caring about the real victim in this situation— the boy Peyton struck and gravely injured — and feels more directionless as a result of Peyton’s actions.