Mascha is languishing during her annual visit to her grandparents' small town. She is an outsider and has no one to play with during the summers she spends there. Then she meets two kids who have some strange bruises. She tries to tell, but no one believes her, until she decides to take matters into her own hands.
Child abuse is a very real issue, and I found Julia and Max's family to be completely believable. Of course they were able to put on a front, and of course the sleepy little town chose to ignore it rather than make waves. Mascha definitely made some, ahem, unusual choices regarding how to help Julia and Max, but in the end, she really was the one who helped them. I liked that this book was told from a bystander's point of view, and while it is obvious what is happening with Julie and Max, it isn't graphic.
Recommended for: middle grade, tween
Red Flags: Julie and Max both show signs of abuse, including mentioning that their father threatened to kill their mother if they told anyone
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
Read-Alikes: Rain Reign, Nightingale's Nest, The War that Saved My Life