Unaccompanied Minor by Hollis Gillespie

April comes from a long line of airline employees and she has logged many hours on World Air with her flight-attendant mom. When her pilot dad dies in a plane crash, her mom marries a pilot who turns out to be an abusive jerk. As their marriage fails, April’s mom and stepdad fly her cross-country, shuttling April between divorcing parents for a year. During that time April learns plenty about the airline biz so when she runs away from home she literally lives on airplanes, using her mom’s flight benefits and relying on the generosity of flight crews she’s befriended.

After narrowly escaping abduction, April finds herself caught in a hijacking. When the hijackers open fire, she hides in a cargo hold with another unaccompanied minor, his service dog and a wounded police officer. Relying on a legacy of knowledge passed down from her family and airline friends, April plots to rush the cockpit to save herself and the passengers on the doomed flight.

Miss Diane says, “All I can say is that this is enormously entertaining! April is a plucky heroine, wise beyond her years, and clever as MacGyver. In the face of crises (she has an unlimited supply) April follows the rule: Don’t freak out, figure it out. Reviews call this a “laugh out loud thriller”. I didn’t laugh, but it was thrilling!”   256 p.   Grades 7 - 9