Harmony Book Reviews

Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt

Posted on: July 15, 2008

I don’t think that there’s any way for me to summarize the complex plot that makes up the novel called Trouble but I’m going to try.

Henry’s father always said that if you stayed far enough away from Trouble, Trouble would never find you. It was what Henry and everyone else in his family believed. Until Trouble came to their lives in the form of Chay, a young Cambodian teen. Henry’s older brother, Franklin, had been jogging on the night Chay hit him. Chay said it was an accident but their community thinks otherwise because Cambodians don’t belong there and are the cause of every disaster.

Filled with anger of the accident, Henry, his best friend, and Black Dog, set out to do the one thing Henry and Franklin had planned to do – climb Mt. Katahdin. They don’t know how they’re going to get there, how they’re going to survive, or anything about climbing mountains but they know they’re going to do it.

As their journey continues, Henry runs into the one he hates most. Chay is also running from Trouble and the once enemies become allies and Henry begins to realize that family is not always what it seems and sometimes you just can’t run from Trouble.

All I can say is that this is an amazing book and should be required reading in every classroom. Not only were the characters real and three dimensional, each with their own quirks and problems, but the plot was also drawn out perfectly, with the right amount of details and action. You could feel yourself being taken into their world and though this is technically a historical novel, I could barely tell because it seemed so real. While reading this book, you will feel your heart breaking for Chay but you’ll also be hoping that everything turns out okay for Henry’s family. Trouble will take you on a roller coaster of emotions that you will never forget.

There’s really no way for me to explain how much I loved this book. It’s creative and original and just all-around amazing. Whether you’re a middle school English teacher or a student, you should definitely pick this up on your next trip to the bookstore. Or heck, order it from Amazon today!


2 Responses to "Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt"

Whoa, I don’t know how I’ve never heard of this before. It sounds really good! One can never have too many books to read! (Or can they? ;D)

~Lucy D =)

There are so many wonderful things to talk about with this book – big Issues like race, grief, etc. But also things like narrator voice, point-of-view. It’s one to study, without a doubt.

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