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Minnie McClary is the new girl and knows that she doesn't quite fit in, especially not after she lost it one day in language arts. Things aren't great at home, either. Her uncle Bill is building a huge replica of the Apache helicopter he flew in Iraq, and her father has blown some sort of whistle and has to start over in a new job.
Then Miss Marks takes over Minnie's language class and encourages students to think critically about everything. They write their thoughts and questions in journals. Minnie and her classmate Amira are inspired, but some people in town wonder why Miss Marks is encouraging students to ask these questions and just what, exactly, she's teaching. Minnie finds herself asking a lot of questions - and figuring out what she has the power to change.