A Good Kind of Trouble
From debut author Lisa Moore Ramee comes this funny and big-hearted debut middle grade novel about friendship, family, and standing up for what's right, perfect for fans of Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give and the novels of Renee Watson and Jason Reynolds.
Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All…
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Why read it?
6 authors picked A Good Kind of Trouble as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
A Good Kind of Trouble is the beautiful story that follows the main character, Shayla, as she learns to use her voice and speak up for things that matters to her. The book has everything I love in a middle grade novel like humor and heart (Lisa is a master at describing junior high friendships and crushes!), but also engages honestly with the reader about important things like racism and social justice. This book can serve as a fantastic conversation starter for kids and parents and kids and teachers.
Over the course of the story, Shayla learns to face her fear and do what she knows is right, even if it impacts her friendships. This story deals with difficult questions of belonging, especially when it comes to race and taking a stand on things that matter.
Sometimes seeking justice means pushing on the status quo, both in yourself and in your world. Shayla faces challenges at home, at school, and in her community—her sister has become involved in Black Lives Matter and challenges Shayla’s identity as a black person, her multiracial friend group from elementary school fractures under the pressures of junior high, and a police shooting in her community and the resulting trial has raised tensions in her town. Shalya has to decide what’s important to her and when and how to stand up for what she believes in.
This cover caught my eye with the black armband, instantly reminding me of the important Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines, which focused on students’ rights to protest at school. Despite dealing with heavy subject matter, this book had me laughing as the main character Shayla comments on her middle school life—frightening lab partners, her four-inch forehead, or the dorky gym shorts she has to wear for PE. Shayla is the perfect hero to root for as she fights against her own itchy-hand allergy for trouble to stand up for what’s right. Plus, I loved her call out…
I appreciated how generous and kind this novel is while not flinching from difficult truths–and still managing to end with hope.
A Good Kind of Trouble is a relevant and heartfelt story with dashes of humor and thought-provoking themes. Shayla has no desire to cause any trouble until she attends a protest with her family and decides to take a stand. This book is a perfect example of how girls can be brave just by asking questions and taking on difficult challenges.
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