Gary D. Schmidt's Trouble is, as I described it earlier, the story of a crisis in a small New England community, the racial tensions that it creates - or throws light upon - and how those involved cope, as individuals and as families and communities. A book that has as much depth and reality as this one does, though, also has a way of ducking around categorizations, summaries, or expectations. Maybe all I can say is that I found the writing and storytelling of Trouble really, really beautiful.

Go look at Miss Erin's review and interview with the author, please; they're short and she expresses her thoughts on Trouble better.

From the back:

"Henry Smith’s father told him that if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you.

But Trouble comes careening down the road one night in the form of a pickup truck that strikes Henry’s older brother, Franklin. In the truck is Chay Chouan, a young Cambodian from Franklin’s preparatory school, and the tragedy sparks racial tensions in the school—and in the town where Henry’s family has lived for generations.

Caught between anger and grief, Henry does the only thing he feels he can: he sets off for Mt. Katahdin, which he and Franklin had planned to climb together. One July morning, he strikes out for Maine with his best friend and the loveable stray, Black Dog, in tow.

But when they encounter Chay Chouan on the road, fleeing demons of his own, Henry learns that turning a blind eye to Trouble only brings Trouble closer.

With moments of humor, tenderness, and remarkable strength, Henry and Chay travel a path to the mountain that neither of them expects."

Grade: A+


Rebecca Joy 9/15/2008 5:42 PM  

I'd really like to read this. It sounds so interesting!

enc 9/15/2008 6:47 PM  

I'm going to check this one out. Thanks for posting about it!

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