Michaels, Rune. Fix Me.
Brian and Leia's parents died in a car crash, and they are being raised by their Aunt Phoebe, who thinks they are both difficult. Brian certainly is-- he beats up on Leia regularly and cuts himself, something which Leia does as well. When Leia is spooked by a man at her place of work, she runs off to the zoo, where she meets Kyle, the son of the owner. He wants help with the work; Leia needs a place to stay. Leia starts to live at the zoo, eating the animals' fruit, washing in the restrooms, and sleeping in an old tiger cage. Brian eventually finds her but lets her stay. Leia becomes fond of Tina, a monkey who has been badly abused. This situation works... for a while. Eventually, Leia starts to remember horrific events from her past, and must find someone who will take the time to listen and fix her.
Strengths: Michaels does great books for readers who want to be depressed in February. Have two copies of this author's Genesis Alpha, which are in tatters. Never did buy The Reminder because it creeped me out so much; these all tend toward YA. Picky Reader still talks about Noble Genes!
Weaknesses: Spoiler: Leia and Brian's problems are caused because they were abused by their father, who took inappropriate pictures of them. This is so delicately handled that many readers are not even going to get what happened, but I can see parents of 6th graders getting upset.
Random note: Ms. Michaels lives in Iceland, and the day after Christmas an exchange student from Iceland will be moving in with my family! Apparently, Icelandic Reader is very fond of books and movies, so maybe she will agree to guest post. And be part of our holiday Gene Kelly Fest!