Saturday, July 19, 2008

Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt

Henry's privileged, uncomplicated life comes to an abrupt halt the night his brother is hit by a car. Franklin is barely clinging to life and a Cambodian teenager is the driver accused of hitting him. From this point on, Trouble just won't stay away. The basic plotline is that Henry runs away to climb the highest peak in Maine, and unwittingly is accompanied by his brother's supposed "killer." Nothing is black and white in this story. Franklin was occasionally cruel, especially to Chay, the new kid at his exclusive prep school. The sister, Louisa, is hiding a big secret. Chay has suffered from deep trauma and has parents who don't want him around. Gary Schmidt is a master at writing multilayered, complex stories that delve into issues that really matter. By the second half of this book I was thoroughly hooked and found myself surprised by the direction the book went in. Good middle school readers and people who care about young adult literature should read this novel. It will probably win awards in 2008!

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