I began this book somewhat reluctantly since I hadn't cared for Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars, but my trepidation was quickly gone. The book drew me in immediately with the car accident that maims the main character Henry's brother and leaves him near death and Henry's dramatic rescue of a scared, matted black dog from the sea. Schmidt's poetic prose skillfully depicts the beauty of the Northeastern coastline and the complicated ways in which humans struggle to rebuild their lives after experiencing loss. The theme that emerges is that although "trouble" inevitably will seep into even the most well-constructed homes, it is our willingness to reach out to connect with others in these times of trouble that brings human redemption and happiness. Trouble contains a few violent fights that are fueled by anti-immigrant bigotry. I'd recommend it for grades 7 and up.