Monday, September 1, 2008

Trouble by Gary Schmidt - OPTIONAL

Schmidt, Gary D. Trouble, 297 p. Clarion, 2008.


Henry’s family is perfect. Well, at least his parents, his sister and his older brother are perfect. Their white bread, tight-knit community is built far away from Trouble (yep, with a capital “T”). Then one day Trouble comes knocking – Henry’s brother is mortally injured in a car accident, by a Cambodian refugee goes to Henry’s own private school. Now his parents are falling apart and his sister refuses to come out of her room. And all Henry can find is anger. Henry decided to take up his brother’s challenge to climb Mt. Katahdin – along the way, however, he encounters Chay, the same young man who hit his brother, who has issues and challenges of his own beyond the accident.

The first chapter of the book reads as stilted and stuffy as the Blythbury-by-the-Sea makes itself out to be – above the human masses. What I really wish is that Chay’s story had been better developed and that we had been allowed to hear his voice. While Henry developed just fine, I think we are really missing books about the lives of new immigrants to America.

Cindy, Library-Teacher.

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