Hello everyone! Welcome back to Recommendation Wednesday, a feature that occurs every other week where I review a book that is not classified as YA, but has excellent crossover appeal. This week I will be reviewing A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Ramée, a book that came out earlier this year.
A Good Kind of Trouble is a middle grade novel that follows Shayla, a twelve year old who hates the idea of trouble and change. She just wants to make it through another year without much incident, hoping that her friends won’t grow apart. But change is inevitable, and suddenly Shay finds herself making difficult choices, not just about her friends, but about her newfound sense of activism as she is slowly exposed to the Black Lives Matter movement. Throughout the novel, she has to decide what is worth making trouble about and fighting for.
This book was very characer driven, so at times it felt kind of slow paced, although it had a really realistic character arc. The character of Shayla started off as a kind of mean middle schooler, but she had a really good arc and learned a lot. It wasn’t like Shay had one big “aha” moment and then changed completely. Her views of others and her relationship with her identity change in really organic ways, and I think she had a really realistic voice in terms of her age (she didn’t sound too mature, she didn’t sound too young).
The story is about a girl who learns how to be an activist and speak out on important issues, but I felt like at its core this book is about Shay growing up and realizing that life is a lot more complicated than she had initially realized, and learning that her voice is important. She not only begins to speak up about things like BLM, she has to stand up to changing friend group and find the courage to apologize to kids she’s been mean to. I think this book does a really good job of balancing Shay’s middle school life with the issues it presented, and it also manages to intertwine them in a realistic and convincing way.
Overall, I really liked this book and I’m so glad that I read it! I think this book is perfect for middle schoolers and younger YA readers who would like a book about activism that still manages to have a realistic and slow-paced storyline. I would also recommend this to middle school teachers!
Have you read this book? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!
7 thoughts on “Recommendation Wednesday: A Good Kind of Trouble”
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I just finished this book and I really enjoyed it. At first, the main character was hard to deal with, she is definitely an enneagram 1! However, she grew into her own by the end of the novel as you state in your review. I think this is a good choice for anyone who needs a novel with character growth.
Yes, definitely! I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did, but I think the character growth is really amazing in the book!
We’re having our Friday Book Club hangout tomorrow to discuss!
When I first started reading, I wasn’t immediately hooked, and the more I thought about why, I realized that I didn’t like Shayla through the first half because her character was a painful reminder of myself at that age. The friend issues and learning how to deal with other people was very true to life.
Ultimately, I liked the ending and was glad I finished it!
Yes, I could definitely relate to a lot of the friendship problems that Shayla has in the book. And it definitely reminded me of all of the judgement that went around in middle school. I’m glad you liked it!