23 June 2011
Schmidt, Gary. Trouble. New York: Clarion Books, 2008.
Schmidt's book The Wednesday Wars was a staple of my seventh grade classroom. Each year I read that book out loud to my students during the last several minutes of each class day. I enjoy Schmidt's style of writing and the way his characters make good decisions when faced with tough choices. Trouble is no different.
Henry has always lived in his brother's shadow. Then one day his brother is hit by a car. When he dies in the hospital a few weeks later, the community is outraged. They demand justice for this family. When it is discovered that the driver of the car was a Cambodian immigrant, the demand for justice turns into racial hatred. Henry's dad always thought they could stay far away from trouble, but it seems that trouble has come to stay.
This was an interesting story. I enjoyed following the plot, even though I could have told you all the twists and turns after the first chapter. Still, it is an enjoyable story, and the race issue is treated well without being overdone. This book is definitely more serious than the one I chose to read to my class, but I would still put this one on my shelf.