First of all, this book deals with a character who's being physically and verbally abused. Her story is one of amazing resilience, determination, finding allies and being brave in standing up to her abuser, her father. Pull up a box of tissues, because within 20 pages I was balling like an infant and I couldn't stop the tears. No child deserves to be treated like this, ever. No excuses.
Mary Murphy's father's been in prison, and while he's gone, she's blossomed. She can actually breathe. She takes refuge in the story of Joan of Arc. She and a boy from school plan a science project, to build a submarine. But once her father's out and home again, she's quickly unable to escape.
She and the boy get caught trying to sneak a peek of a decommissioned sub on a nearby base, as a "first date," of all things, and her father beats her. Bruises her eye and her abdomen. She misses a few days of school, pulls her hair over her face and says she "fell." She fails a test. Her best friend takes her aside and covers the purple in makeup, but it's still obvious what her father's done. The principal calls her in and has her talk to her social worker. This has happened before.
There's a kind aunt, who's married to another woman, that her father doesn't like. Still, the aunt takes Mary under her wing at the local library and gets Mary a summer job once school's out.
Mary needs the money, because she's sinking all of it into her escape: an actual sub she's building with help from a retired sub engineer out of a used propane tank.
I won't spoil how it ends, or how she gets away. And please, please read the author's note in the back, about how dangerous it is to confront your abuser. Escape, but don't do what Mary does, by going back into that environment. Ever. Once your'e out, stay out.
I would say enjoy, but it's not that kind of book. Instead, be thankful everyday if you live in a safe, secure home and know that not everyone enjoys that same privilege.