Trouble Maker
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Trouble Maker

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  872 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Once a troublemaker, always a troublemaker?

There's a folder in Principal Kelling's office that's as thick as a phonebook and it's growing daily. It's filled with the incident reports of every time Clayton Hensley broke the rules. There's the minor stuff like running in the hallways and not being where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be there. But then there a...more
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Published 2011 by Recorded Books Productions, LLC
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This book bugged me at the beginning - Clay was so cocky and irritating to me. Obviously the book is about his personal reform, but you still have to hear about his attitude at the beginning. Just FYI, there is the repeated use of the word "jackass" and an attitude of "I don't care" about destructive behavior from the main character and his friends. This book might be especially appropriate if you have a kid who HAS these attitude and behavior issues, as long as you make sure he/she reads the bo...more

In this book, there are one sixth grader boy called "Clay Hensley" has many troubles in his Truman Elementary school. His record book has filled with troubles that he made. He likes to joke with his friends. During the art class, he drew his principal like a donkey and he went to principal's office again. When he came back to home, his big brother decided to change Clay to a good student, and Clay promised to his big brother that he will going to be a good student....more
Clay Hensley is an impressive character. Reminiscent of some of the best work produced by the great Barbara Park during her years as a novelist, the construction of Clay's personality is inspired at every turn. He's hilariously funny, with a faultless ability to assess the risk/reward of any situation and a smart enough tongue that he hardly ever gets in trouble for his shenanigans unless he wants to, and even then he's good at talking himself out of any real trouble. Like his brother, Mitch, b...more
One of the things that I especially love about working at an elementary school is the variety of children I get to meet. This can be both enjoyable and incredibly frustrating, but never boring, and I learn as much from them as they do from me (hopefully). Clay is one of those students who is more than capable of doing well in school, but chooses not to. In Clay's case, his admiration for his older brother, leads him into mischief, including the donkey drawing of his principal. When Mitchell retu...more
Charlie Faragher
The book, Trouble Maker by Andrew Clements, is about a boy named Clay Hensley He is always getting in trouble for something almost every day. This time, he drew a drawing of a donkey, and he put glasses and a mustache on it so it would look like his principal. When Mr. Kelling (the principal) saw it, he was upset. If he did something bad again, he'd get in ten times bigger trouble. So his bigger brother, Mitch, made him change completely because Mitch had just gotten out of jail and didn't want...more
Clements has recently been leavening his humourous school stories with more serious subjects or undercurrents. With Extra Credit, I thought he was only partially successful, but I think he succeeds pretty well with Trouble-Maker, the story of Clay Hensley - a sixth grade boy who has been making mischief pretty much since he was in kindergarten. Much of Clay's trouble making is of the just this side of serious sort, so he's not a candidate for juvie (yet). His world is rocked when his idolized 20...more
Ahhh, firstLane Smith, now Andrew Clements... we are bound and determined to get the word jackass beyond the would-be censors of children's literature.
Clements is in top form with this story of Clay Hensley, a sixth-grader who enjoys the challenge of seeing how many times he can be sent to the principal's office during his elementary career. Why? Because his brother was a prankster who was not afraid to get in trouble, and Clay wants to be just like Mitch. So when Clay draws a picture of a jacka...more
Stacy Ford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jowel Uddin
Troublemaker Review

The usual pattern of having a child in either a middle or elementary school with a problem of some sort, is Andrew Clement's usual suit. This is evident once again, in Andrew Clements somewhat recent book, “Troublemaker”.

The book begins with Clay, who is the protagonist. Clay is a sixth grader who is quite mischievous. Clay wants to see how many times he can go to the principal's office, and he has quite a reputation in school. Clay has a huge folder at the principal's off...more
Clements, Andrew. Troublemaker. Atheneum Books for Children. July 2011. ISBN: 978-1-4169-4930-5. $12.99 F

Gr. 4-6
Clayton Hensley is a troublemaker. He wants to be exactly like his older brother Mitch, who just got out of jail for wielding his own brand of trouble. When Clay uses his free art period to draw the principal as a donkey, he makes sure he's the talk of the school, showing off on the way to the office. But, when Clay reveals the drawing to Mitch, he's in for a surprise. Not only is Mitc...more
6th Grade Honors Language Arts Class
Author: Andrew Clements
Review by ; Dominique

Andrew Clements the author of Trouble-Maker was born on May 29, 1949, in Camden, New Jersey. As a child, Andrew enjoyed summers at a lakeside cabin in Mane, there he spent his days swimming, fishing, and in the evening reading books. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Northwestern University and a Masters of Arts in Elementary Education from National Louis University. Andrew worked as a teacher sharing his love...more
Jun 02, 2013 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students in grades 5-8
Andrew Clements never fails to produce a book well worth reading. This title would make an excellent read-aloud to elementary and middle-school students to start discussion and promote reflection about the direction they want their lives to take as well as the destructive nature of humor at the expense of another person. I would have given it five stars except for two issues. The first is the brief explanation of why big brother Mitch wants Clay to shape up (he just finished 30 days in jail), an...more
From the inside flap:

“Once a troublemaker, always a troublemaker?

There’s a folder in Principal Kelling’s office that’s as thick as a phone book, and it’s growing daily. It’s filled with the incident reports for every time Clayton Hensley broke the rules. There’s the minor stuff, like running in the hallways and not being where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be there. But then there are also reports, like the most recent addition, that show Clay’s own brand of troublemaking: The ar...more
Abby Johnson
Clay is a troublemaker. He doesn't pull pranks to be mean or because he's angry, but because his older brother was a prankster and Clay's following in his footsteps. In fact, when Clay uses his time in art class to create a hilarious picture of the school's principal as a jackass, he can't wait to show Mitch and tell him the story of what happened. But Mitch is, for the first time, unimpressed by Clay's prank. Just home from a 30-day jail sentence, Mitch knows it's time for him and Clay to turn...more
In quintessential Clements fashion, Trouble-Maker explores a typical middle-school age problem which ends with an appropriate conclusion. Clayton Hensley has always been a trouble maker, right from the get-go when he was in kindergarten. Mischief started off small and almost-laughable, but as Clay grew, the problems became more troublesome to both his parents and his principal, Mr. Kelling.

That all changes once his big brother comes home from being incarcerated. Mitch sees the errors of his own...more
Brittany Sahadat
This book was very interesting especially because I knew someone like this in junior high school. Most times when children come from a home of trouble and no rules that continues everywhere that child goes. Clay and his brother Mitchell came that type of home and it continued while they were at school and nobody wanted to be bothered by them becuase of their attitudes. Once they realize they want to change it is not as easy as it sounds. Mitchell made it through and changed but now wants his lit...more
With the same deft hand he applies to 3rd graders, Andrew Clement has moved on to 6th grade. Clay Hensley, doing what he can to follow in his idolized big brother's footsteps, is a smart, charming troublemaker. And then Mitch gets out of jail. To Clay's surprise, Mitch wants to change his own ways and definitely wants Clay to change his. Not so easy when Clay has spent his entire elementary school years deliberately fomenting angst at the school all in the name of fun.

The difficulties inherent i...more
I had mixed feelings on Troublemaker.

Its content and use of language probably aren't appropriate for children of younger grades...or anywhere up to about 6th or 7th grade, for that matter! The author portrays a mischievous child who gets into trouble with his principal for an inappropriate poster. Here, choice language is used multiple times, and, as a children's lit. book, I know I wouldn't use that language!

On the positive side, the author shows the reader that based on the choices that you m...more
I enjoyed this! As always, I feel like Andrew Clements got it just right. His students, teachers, and parents all feel very real. Luckily, Clay isn't the type of student you run into very often. But I've definitely met him and felt similar frustrations as expressed by the teachers and administrators in this story. He's so bright and capable! He is making specific choices to act the way he does, which is very frustrating to deal with in the classroom (or in my case school library) setting. I hope...more
Clever premise, rushed ending. We've seen all kinds of different gifted children in Andrew Clements' books, and it was cool to have a protagonist gifted in art this time around. Clements really does have a book for everyone. Clay is a typically loveable, mischievous, creative protagonist, and the book felt like a return to Clements' golden days of The Landry News, The School Story, and Frindle. Unfortunately, the resolution is thin. No mention is made of Mitch's coercive tendencies toward his yo...more
Not my favorite Andrew Clements book as the subject matter was a little advanced for my 7 year old. Clay is a seasoned 6th grade troublemaker with a school file inches thick. His older brother gets out of jail (!) and decides that Clay will not end up well if he doesn't clean up his act. Clay struggles with being respectful, not playing pranks and being serious in school, but in the end, it all works out for him. The use of the word "jackass" was quite prevalent (in describing a drawing of the a...more
Really more of a 3.5 star book. Clay gets in a lot of trouble at school. It's trouble that could be avoided - except Clay doesn't want to avoid it. He thinks making trouble is fun and he likes the attention it brings to him. But when his older brother is released from prison, he makes Clay promise to stay out of trouble. And that's a very hard promise for Clay to keep.

This book has a really good message about consequences of your actions, what your reputation can mean (good or bad) and how it's...more
I think Clements books are really readable. They're like vitamin water: they go down so smoothly it's easy to overlook the slightly deeper level that they can operate on. This one, like others, has clearcut characters, including believable and slightly-more-than-one-dimensional adults. You could pause along the way and really think about how you would react if your brother or best friend changed dramatically. Still, there's a formulaic feel to Clements writing, and if I could I'd probably actual...more
Sammie Pedersen
Trouble Maker was about the main trouble maker in the school. However, when his big brother got home from jail, he made Clay straighten up his act. Clay had so much trouble resisting all the pranks that he would normally pull but, he didn’t want to let his brother down. Eventually people started to notice that Clay was acting different and started taking advantage of his new “niceness”. On Halloween, when Clay stayed in, someone pulled a prank on the principle and had framed Clay! At first the p...more
I have always liked Andrew Clements, and he has proved once again what a great author he truly is! I love how all the elements work so well together. As soon as I finished I recommended it to some of my friends! I would rate this book a 8 out of 10!
1/11/14 ** Clay has been known as a mischief maker, with 4-5 trips to the principal each month since kindergarten. That's just what folks expect - his older brother was just the same.

Then, Clay is challenged by his brother to clean up his act. Clements explores the difficulty that a near-adolescent has. Peer pressure, teasing, and taunts are all part of Clay's journey.

The opening of the book is very funny, with Clay's last major prank and his anticipation of sharing the escapade with his older...more
Great book that I read for a 5th grade book group. It was really engaging and all of the kids gave it a thumbs up.
Clay has always had a good time at school by getting in trouble and spending a lot of time with the principal. All of that changes when his brother, Mitchell comes home after spending a month in jail. Mitchell wants Clay to change his ways so that he doesn't follow in in Mitchell's footsteps. This is not easy for Clay and it is not easy for others to believe that he has changed his ways. Clay finally seems to realize how his behavior affected is classmates and teachers. This book also does a goo...more

It's hard to believe that I've read and loved one of my top favorite books, A Week in the Woods, but I've never read any of Andrew Clements other books. I think it's because his books are plentiful with the signature image of a kid holding something for the reader to see. I guess I thought it would be generic and childish. I must be losing my mind. A Week in the Woods was hardly that and Troublemaker proved me all kinds of wrong. I have decided it's my mis...more
Compared to his other books, this is not my favourite Andrew Clements book, but still a good read with a "moral of the story" ending.

Clay started off with way too much attitude and was proud of his wrongful behaviour which also was presented as being an accomplishment. This was further supported by the father giving kudos for the behaviour. Later it was the brother who caused the change, but to Clay (after all he had "enjoyed" his "pranks" aka misdeeds), he felt it was punishment. Much of the b...more
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I was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1949 and lived in Oaklyn and Cherry Hill until the middle of sixth grade. Then we moved to Springfield, Illinois. My parents were avid readers and they gave that love of books and reading to me and to all my brothers and sisters. I didn’t think about being a writer at all back then, but I did love to read. I'm certain there's a link between reading good books an...more
More about Andrew Clements...
Frindle Things Not Seen (Things, #1) No Talking The Report Card The School Story

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