A Good Kind of Trouble
Shayla’s a relatable character trying to make sense of her world and whose ideas of following the rules are challenged when she’s confronted with unjust rules, but the Black Lives Matter movement empowers her to stand up for her beliefs. The viewpoint and tone are perfect for a middle-grade audience, and Lisa Moore Ramée raises questions and opens eyes while telling a strong story.
From debut author Lisa Moore Ramée comes this funny and big-hearted debut middle grade novel about friendship, family, and standing up for what’s right, perfect for fans of Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give and the novels of Renée Watson and Jason Reynolds.
Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. (Oh, and she’d also like to make it through seventh grade with her best friendships intact, learn to run track, and have a cute boy see past her giant forehead.)
But in junior high, it’s like all the rules have changed. Now she’s suddenly questioning who her best friends are and some people at school are saying she’s not black enough. Wait, what?
Shay’s sister, Hana, is involved in Black Lives Matter, but Shay doesn't think that's for her. After experiencing a powerful protest, though, Shay decides some rules are worth breaking. She starts wearing an armband to school in support of the Black Lives movement. Soon everyone is taking sides. And she is given an ultimatum.
Shay is scared to do the wrong thing (and even more scared to do the right thing), but if she doesn't face her fear, she'll be forever tripping over the next hurdle. Now that’s trouble, for real.
"Tensions are high over the trial of a police officer who shot an unarmed Black man. When the officer is set free, and Shay goes with her family to a silent protest, she starts to see that some trouble is worth making." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")
Praise for A Good Kind of Trouble
“Full of heart and truth, A Good Kind of Trouble has all of the making to be this generation’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Much like Cassie Logan, Shayla’s experiences, pitfalls, and triumphs will inspire young people for years to come. It is a well-written page turner with a voice that stays with you long after you put the book down.” — Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give
“Shay’s voice is so genuine—she practically walks off the page. This is an important book, and an incredible debut.” — Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Medal-winning author of Hello, Universe
“Gripping from the opening line, A Good Kind of Trouble is a tender, insightful, and unique look at what it means to stand up for what you believe in and be brave. Shay is the type of heroine who inspires us all to take a stand.” — Jay Coles, author of Tyler Johnson Was Here
“Ramée effectively portrays the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and the difficulty of navigating complex social situations while conveying universal middle school questions about friendship, first crushes, and identity. Shay’s journey is an authentic and engaging political and personal awakening.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Shayla navigates the world of middle school and the troubled world beyond with wit and endless heart. A timely, funny, and unforgettable debut about friendship, facing your fears, and standing up for what’s right.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Reminiscent in writing style to works by Lauren Myracle and Jason Reynolds, this novel [shows] Shayla’s typical middle school problems, then switches to the very specific problems she faces as a young black girl in America…[For] middle grade readers who aren’t yet ready for Thomas’s The Hate U Give.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“Shayla’s narration is both sympathetic and acutely realistic. This is a sensitive exploration of contemporary racism and inequity for a readership not ready for Thomas’ The Hate U Give.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books