I absolutely loved this book.
In Hitch Ingold describes the journey of Moss Trawnley in becoming a man during the middle of the Great Depression. Moss deals with a father who struggles with alcoholism and commitment issues of his own before joining up with the CCC Civilian Conservation Corps one of the alphabet soup organizations created during the New Deal.
Though as a fiscal conservative sometimes I cringe at how Roosevelt drastically increased the size and scope of government in order to pull the country out of the Great Depression (think Social Security for one) I actually admire efforts like the CCC which put men to work, thus decreasing unemployment, and at the same time helped hardworking Americans like farmers to conserve and protect land devastated by drought.
Though Moss at 17 is a bit older than my future middle school students and thus struggles with issues that might not affect my students I definitely recommend this book. Applications definitely could be extracted for the current financial crisis among other things.