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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,079 ratings  ·  453 reviews
A dog, a mountain, and an ancient slave ship are featured in this latest page-turner from a versatile, award-winning author.

Format: 7 CDs, Unabridged

Climbing Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine, is the goal that Henry sets himself when his brother dies following a car accident. Along with his dog, his best friend, and-surprisingly-the Cambodian boy whose car was involv
Audio CD, 297 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Scholastic Audio Books (first published April 21st 2008)
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Community Reviews

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You know, as a children’s librarian Gary Schmidt gives me no end of (for lack of a better word) trouble. As far as I can tell, he’s probably one of those authors that doesn’t like to begin writing a book by pigeonholing it for a single age group. If I'm right then it would explain why his oeuvre does a funny dance between children’s literature and young adult literature without the author ever fully belonging to one or the other. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy? Children’s historical ficti ...more
Jul 22, 2009 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Age twelve and up
Recommended to Heather by: DaNae Leu--children's librarian extraordinaire
(This is my Amazon review) Another amazing coming-of-age novel from Schmidt, plus SO much more. I can't begin to explain how much I adore this book. I thought Wednesday Wars was near-perfect, but having just finished Trouble, I don't know which one I like better. Schmidt is an amazingly gifted writer. His imagery is so evocative, yet tangible. His characters are accessible, likeable and still complex enough to be real. I am a thirty-something mother of three daughters and found this book to be a ...more
I’ve found that some authors make me feel good about my own abilities as a writer. I read their work, and I think to myself, ‘OK, I’m relatively certain I’m at least in the same league with this and such author.’ No such luck with Gary Schmidt. This guy is an absolute pro.
Trouble is a gritty young adult novel about a teenager whose all-star older brother is struck and killed by a truck apparently driven by a young Cambodian refugee. In the aftermath of this tragedy, Henry sets out on a quest t
Gary Schmidt is probably my favorite children's writer after the venerable Katherine Paterson. I love both of them as phenomenal people, and admire them both madly as writers. So that's a disclaimer of sorts. That said--I didn't love TROUBLE as much as LIZZIE BRIGHT, and I didn't work on this book, so don't have quite the affection for it that I do for THE WEDNESDAY WARS. And I do see a few wee little problems in the narrative. BUT, they hardly matter b/c I think the heart of this book rises far ...more
Joyce Yattoni
I admit I did have a little trouble getting through the first few pages while Mr. Schmidt spent quite a bit if time describing the setting, the Smith's home in the pretentious Blythbury-by-the-Sea. But then he got to work on creating his characters rather quickly. Henry changes throughout the story who first idolized his bigoted deceased older brother and then slowly came to realize that he was not an American hero. Although this title is realistic fiction, the author weaved in a bit of history ...more
My favorite sentences from this book are:

"He could see pink and white blossoms in nearby orchards, and farther away, the brief yellow of the daffodils, so bright they looked as if Van Gogh had just come from them with his paint-brush still wet in his hand" (pg 108)

"A heart that has lost knows every other heart that has lost" (pg 197)

The first let me see what the author was describing, the second is just a lovely way to say what is true. And comparing a book to a painting is a wonderful way to pr
I've spoken with my Middle School students about books like this, those written as contemporary fiction but set in the near-past (eg, my lifetime). Any book written/set in the 60s-90s isn't historical enough unless there's a real need to use the past (like, talking about the Vietnam War or Woodstock). Just "because" doesn't interest them. Kids without cellphones or video games or computers seem unreal, and they just don't care.

This book could have, very easily, been written "today" but I suspect
I think if you approach "Trouble" in a completely different way than Lizzie Bright or The Wednesday Wars, then you can appreciate the story it tells. Don't make the mistake of thinking it's going to be like the other two stories: full of light, full of mirth and humor, even amongst challenges. This one is much more true to life in my opinion---dealing with the harsh situations that life can throw at you, and yet finding that things aren't the way you thought they were all along. I thoroughly enj ...more
This book went from 2 stars to 3 stars just because I still think that Gary Schmidt is a masterful writer.

But this story starts out sloooooow, with long descriptions of small New England towns, and houses, that seem quiety adult. There are changes of narrator that confuse, and overdone metaphors (the titular one, for example) and some clunky racists that seem to have no reason for being that way. And Henry figures everything out with no clues that I can see (we the reader to get clues.)

I thought this was a powerhouse of a book, and it was one of the best books I've read in a long time. I wasn't quite sure where the author was taking me... but was very glad to have made the journey when I reached the end.

This was the first book I've read by Gary Schmidt, so I didn't have any expectations.

After you finish the book, go back and read the italic sections at the end of each chapter. they'll make a lot more sense. It's a bit early to say this... but I'm predicting a Newbery or Newber
Bryon Butler
I “discovered” Gary Schmidt through the Wednesday Wars, and happily picked up Trouble. I found that the (2008 hardback) cover does not do the book justice: the back cover blip can’t deal with all the book is about, and the front cover’s superimposed picture of a boy with his eyes closed is anemic. Yet trying to describe the book: an Anglo-boy with a high pedigree juxtaposed with a Cambodian refugee, a truck, an obnoxious best-friend, a dog, a horrible accident, the remains of a ship with a tragi ...more
Kayla Davis
This book is the story about a boy named Henry and his family, who despite doing their best to plant themselves far away from trouble land right in the middle of it. Henry and his family live in a town that everyone refers to as Blythbury-by-the-Sea – a small, quiet, secluded town nestled by the sea that much resembles a rich gated community. Life in Blythbury-by-the-Sea is quiet and peaceful, but everything changes when right before a big hike, Henry’s older brother Franklin is hit by a truck d ...more
The book, "Trouble" by Gary Schmidt combines mystery and adventure with the dilemmas involved in living as a young person in a seaside town with different ethnicities. Henry's father tells him that "if you build your house far enough away from trouble, then trouble will never find you." However, with one event, trouble comes down the road and settles into Henry's life. The event causes racial tension in the town and through grief, uncertainties, shared experiences, facing fears, and forgiveness ...more
I think Schmidt is an awesome writer, but though this book is very good, it isn't my favorite of his works. The book begins at a leisurely pace, describing the upper-class New England life of its protagonist, Henry. In the first couple chapters, I felt like Henry kept me at arm's length. The story did ultimately draw me in such that I had a hard time peeling myself away in later chapters as Henry struggles to deal with the fallout of his brother's accident, but at the same time I had a little tr ...more
Mackenzie Cannon
Henry is a boy whose family has always been pretty lucky up until his older brother Franklin is hit by a car. As he is lying in his hospital bed, he looks at Henry and mouths the word “Katahdin”, which is a mountain that Henry and Franklin always wanted to climb together, and now Henry is determined to accomplish it for his brother. Henry begins to climb the mountain with two other boys and a dog he saved from drowning. Henry learns several things about his companions along the way; including on ...more
Lexi Carpenter
The book "Trouble" by Gary D Schmidt is about a family whos oldest son, Franklin, gets hit by a car while going out for a jog one afternoon. Henry, the main character, always dreamed of climbing Mount Katahdin with Franklin but now since he was dying in the hospital he didnt think he would be able to fufill his dream. After Franklin died, Henry, Black Dog, and is friend Sanborn decided they would go climbing in honor of Franklin but they didnt have a car so they got picked up by a cambodian boy ...more
Trouble was an enlighting story which taught me about the world. At first I couldn't really get into the book but as it continues I really started to like it. I learned many thiings while reading Trouble. The most important thing: You can't run from trouble, it will always find you and you just have to live with it.
Gary D. Schmidt can write. He can make me taste the air, shed tears over his characters, and laugh while I'm shedding them. (inappropriately, I'm sure).
His male protagonist does stuff my brothers did, things that would never cross my mind (like constantly punch and wrestle with your best friend), so I think his books are good for guys.
This is a tough one, with lots of trouble, even though the protagonist is rich with old-school money. There is death, and racial hatred, and the horrors of angry
We like to think of ourselves as a people who welcome refugees, but it is not always true. This ya novel about prejudice, hardship, and change moved me as I reached the exciting conclusion. It would make a good booktalk, too.
Diego Rangel
For goal 3 this year, I re-read “Trouble” by Gary D. Schmidt. I read this book in 5th grade but I decided to read it again because I thought I could enjoy it more this time around because my vocabulary has advanced from the last time I read it. I love the book. It takes place in a tiny, wealthy New England town. A young boy named Henry had always looked up to his brother, even though he treated him like trash. They lived outside of any city because they wanted to stay away from trouble. One day, ...more
This book was a huge disappointment to me. I loved Lizzie Bright and The Wednesday Wars, so I had high expections for Schmidt's book. The ending was a bit predictable.
Kirsten Saintignon
I gave this book a four out of five rating because at points it did get a little dull and boring. Although at times it was boring it was interesting with an unexpected twist. This book might be difficult for lower book leveled readers because there was some high vocabulary. "Trouble" is about a boy named Henry who's brother dies in a terrible accident. After that his family and him distant themselves. Henry then decides that to climb the mountain Katahdin in honor of his brother. Their journey h ...more
Mar 06, 2008 Rita rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone 12 and up
Recommended to Rita by: Morgan
Another fabulous book by Gary Schmidt. I hope he wins the Newbery for this one!
Dian Cronan
I orginally read this one in a search for something to pair with Touching Spirit Bear in my Language Arts class. This novel provides an interesting look into the family dynamics when dealing with loss, as well as mystery and racisim against Cambodians, something a lot of peoplel don't really think about or are even aware of. Each of the main characters has a heart-breaking backstory, and although they begin as enemies tied together by tragedy, they ultimately find themselves and friendship in ea ...more
Logan Young
Don't Get Caught
I read Trouble by Gary D.Schmidt. The genre is fiction. Trouble is not in a series. Gary D. Schmidt is the author of some newbery honor books. Henry's father always told him that if you build a house far enough away from trouble, the trouble will never find you.
In the beginning, Henry Smith lived where people for hundreds of years lived away from trouble. Henry's house was built in 1678. They lived by the ocean so every morning Henry walked on their deck and watched the waves
Gary D. Schmidt is a marvel. Every one of his novels, at least inasmuch as I can tell by this point, is so elegantly plotted and emotionally important and potent that it would appear as if he must never have a day when he's off his best writing game. All of his books seem to be works of art as surely a Picasso or Van Gogh painting, and I have to admit that I don't know how he does it so consistently. His mind's powers of creative output shoot around out there in an entirely different orbit, one ...more
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Krisanne Stewart
Once in a while a book just wrecks me. This was one of them.

There are so many lessons to be learned and discussed from this book.

Henry's brother gets hit by a Cambodian schoolmate's truck in the very beginning of the book. Henry's family is picture perfect and the comotose brother is the perfect son. Until the picture starts to fade and peel a little bit. Thank goodness Henry saves a drowning dog (Black Dog) whose love actually saves Henry and buoys him in his time of need.

This book is highly a
A well-to-do family loses their oldest son in a tragic hit-and-run accident. A boy from a nearby town is arrested. The dead boy, Franklin, is WASP; the accused is a Cambodian immigrant. Racial tensions flare in both towns, as the dead boy's younger brother tries to make sense of his family's loss. He decides to seek his answers by completing a mountain climb he and Franklin were undertaking when Franklin was killed. On the way to the mountain, he meets the Cambodian "killer," and trouble awaits ...more
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Gary D. Schmidt is an American children's writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor books. He lives on a farm in Alto, Michigan,with his wife and six children, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, feeds the wild cats that drop by and wishes that sometimes the sea breeze came that far inland. He is a Professor of English at Calvin College.

More about Gary D. Schmidt...
The Wednesday Wars Okay for Now Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy What Came from the Stars Straw Into Gold

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“The world is Trouble...and Grace. That is all there is.” 21 likes
“A heart that has lost knows every other heart that has lost. Late and soon, loss is all the same.” 6 likes
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