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A Good Kind of Trouble

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  3,367 ratings  ·  637 reviews
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
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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Lisa Ramée I love the main character, Shayla. But a strong second would be Bernard.
Lisa Ramée The main inspiration was my experiences in junior high and how those were mirrored so hard when my daughter started junior high. It seems like the tim…moreThe main inspiration was my experiences in junior high and how those were mirrored so hard when my daughter started junior high. It seems like the time in many people's lives where race starts to matter. (less)

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Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

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A GOOD KIND OF TROUBLE was all kinds of good. Sometimes a middle grade novel can talk down to its audience, but this book is that rare gem that manages to be timeless, perfectly capturing that awkward time in our lives when we're navigating all the major firsts, whether it's a first crush, to the first stirrings of our burgeoning soon-to-be-adult identities.

Shayla is twelve years old. She has two best friends, Julia, who is Japanese, and
The good thing about serving on a book committee is that it helps you to read outside of your comfort zone. The bad thing about serving on a book committee is that it makes you read outside of your comfort zone. It’s funny, but as someone who reads a lot of children’s novels, my instinct is to revert back to my 12-year-old self. A steady diet of fantasy, punctuated by the occasional mystery, and I’d be good to go. But being a grown-up means trying different things all the time. Because wouldn't ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
A Good Kind of Trouble attempted to do what The Hate U Give did for the YA audience—explore race issues, and race tensions but for an even younger audience.

But, like, THUG, it barely scratched the surface. Unlike, THUG, however, it being tamer made sense, considering the age of the intended audience.

Twelve-year-old Shayla has always been on the outskirts of her blackness—not unaware, but she hasn’t yet come into the understanding of what it means to be black in today’s America.

Then, another bl
I’ve been wanting to venture into reading more middle-grade and this was a really great start into that journey.

This was such an impactful and empowering story and once I started listening to the audiobook I did not want to stop listening to it.

It follows a young, black girl who is all about not getting into trouble. Change and uncomfortable situations make her hands itch. But change and uncomfortable situations she does get thrown into and we follow her into junior year and seeing how she dea
Lisa Ramée
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Wow what a great book--says the author of said book. :) Don't @me anyone. With Covid-19 going on it was time to have some fun.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Sometimes people say they wish they had a book when they were younger, but I don't know if I've felt that until I read this. I really, really wish my seventh grade self had this book. I was just like Shayla for a while; I got straight As and was quiet and teachers loved me and getting in trouble was the worst thing I could think of. And then Trayvon and Tamir and Philando and Sandra were killed and all that changed, just like police brutality changes that for Shayla.

I really loved having a book
Adriana (SaltyBadgerBooks)
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, arc
I couldn't put this book down, and was so excited to be able to read it! I cannot wait for it to be released and to own a physical copy! It was a great coming of age middle grade novel! There were so many layers to it and you should all already have this preordered!
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really cool way of showing how younger teens can engage in social justice (and how adults are always trying to tell them to be nice and also ignore their voices). Loved Shayla’s parents - encouraging her to use her voice.
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: june-2020
Alex Johnson
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Shayla's story perfectly captured middle school in its cringe moments and its social awakening—there were multiple moments that I said, "I definitely said that when I was in middle school." But this novel also dealt with difficult questions of belonging, especially when it comes to race. Well-written middle grades with a lovable main character; highly recommend.
Ms. Yingling
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Shayla is a good kid who doesn't like to be in trouble. Her older sister, Hana, is outspoken and interested in protests, but not Shayla. She's the kind of kid who will pick up a desk that has been knocked over by someone else so the her teacher doesn't get upset with the class. She likes hanging out with her friends Julia and Isabella, and doesn't understand why other people think it's weird that they are Japanese American and Latinx and not black. There's a lot of frien
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Junior High is filled with change for Shayla and her two best friends Isabella and Julia aka The United Nations. New friendships and crushes threaten the trio. Elsewhere Shay’s big sister protests with Black Lives Matters as Shayla becomes more aware of race and how Blacks are marginalized in society and in her school, as well as her own biases.

A GOOD KIND OF TROUBLE should be required reading for middle grade students. The Middle School years are challenging, friendship is challenging, crushes
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, 2019
Quick to read, hard to put down, and I can already tell that it will stay with me forever. I loved the story so much. Shayla (and her friends & family) are wonderful characters. The writing is honest and perfectly true-to-life, and also very funny at times. I consider it a MUST READ, both for its frank discussion of Black Lives Matter and for its on-the-nose portrayal of Shayla growing up and learning to think "out loud." Highly recommended. I loved it! ...more
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another read with students that I absolutely loved. This book is SO topical (a Black person was just killed by a cop, on video, as the book begins).

I also loved that it's perfectly middle grades--versus for example The Hate U Give has a sex scene that makes it a little inappropriate for sixth graders--and still addresses weighty issues.

There's a LOT going on here--not just the bigger picture Black Lives Matter stuff, but friendships growing apart, and teenage romances starting up, and kids deal
Kelly Hager
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this middlegrade so much! Shayla reminds me a lot of me as a kid: quiet, almost desperate not to get in trouble and sticking close to a group of friends. But, like a lot of us learn, she starts to see that maybe there are things that are worse than getting in trouble. It's important to care about things and to talk about things that matter, even if they make people uncomfortable.

This is about social justice but it's also about starting to navigate a new school with new people and having f
LOVED this book. Shayla is such a great narrator and perfectly captures so much of middle school friendship/self-image issues that almost everyone can relate to, while having her own strong voice. The way she and her classmates grapple with the Black Lives Matter movement (and the police brutality and other issues behind BLM) is presented so well, this will be a great intro for a lot of tweens (and even older readers looking for something intro level).
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot. I think it involved many different real life problems. I think it also sends a message to kids that it’s ok to stand up for something you believe in. Shay is a character this has a lot of questions about the world and her life, and reading this book helps you understand what it’s like to go through such difficult times at such a young age. Overall I think this book was pretty good and helps teach kids a very important lesson.
Joyce Yattoni
Great middle school read. Shayla and her friends experience all the ups and downs of middle school. One day you are besties, the next day you are not. One day you think the big kid is a bully, the next day you realize you got him wrong. Shayla eventually found her voice in the story and stood up for something she believed in, although it took her awhile to get there. Good backstory on black lives matter.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aoc, arcs, mg, 2019-release
This book wasn't quite what I was expecting it to be but I really enjoyed it!

It's a pretty quiet book about a young black girl who is learning to navigate the world around her and understanding that blackness can come with its own set of burdens that other people don't have to deal with.

There's a theme of police violence that mostly exists in the background. There was a shooting of an unarmed black man and an ongoing trial for almost the length of the book. Even though it's not always the most
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mini Me Rating
Sarah Krajewski
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shayla Willows stays far away from trouble. That means she avoids the troublemakers in her classes, always tries her best on her school work, and listens to her parents. As she enters 7th grade, however, things begin to change both at home and at school. At home, Shayla starts questioning herself when her sister says she isn’t Black enough. At school, she has her best friends, Isabella and Julia, but they are not as united as they used to be. Meanwhile, a trial involving police brutality is goin ...more
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, middle-grade
This was really a great middle grade read.
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
My son checked this book out of the library and made it about 1/3 of the way through before abandoning it, so I decided to read it to see where it may have lost him. And it was easy to see- the book is very long for a middle grade novel, and the first half is a lot of girl drama- I think the parts of the story my almost-11 year old son would have actually liked- the activism story line- didn't come till past the halfway point in the book, and he doesn't have the patience for over a hundred pages ...more
Natasha Diaz
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a multiracial girl who grew up feeling like I wasn't enough of anything, I wish I had this book to know I wasn't alone. As Shayla navigates her existence as a young Black woman in America, she is forced to come to terms with the inherent racism ingrained in the US school systems, prejudices within communities of color about befriending people from other races, and the unfair expectations placed on young Black men all over the world. But when she decides to put herself on the line to speak out ...more
Suzanne Morrone
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone.
This is a wonderful book about a girl who doesn’t want to get in trouble. She is black and her best friends are Japanese and Puerto Rican. They call themselves The United Nations. But set against the backdrop of Black Lives Matter, and the discussion of race stereotyping, of why black people may have a harder time than other POC along with all the MG angst that really rings true, just starting to learn how to navigate all the social skills needed to be a teenager, Shayla learns sometimes there a ...more
Erika Kraus
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in the first reads giveaway! What an inspiring read for young women, especially those interested in advocating for African-American rights. My niece and I read this together and adored the story.
I received an ARC copy from a Goodreads giveaway.
This was an amazing and beautifully written book. It is very realistic and touching. It was very enjoyable and difficult to put down.
Laura Harrison
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pretty terrific debut novel. One of the best middle grade books of the year. Definitely Newbery worthy.
Julie Suzanne
It was really just okay for this adult reader, but I am not at all the intended audience. I wasn't enamored with it only because of my age, I think. I'll start with the good.

-Perfect parents
-Deals with Black Lives Matter in an age-appropriate, respectful, awakening kind of way. Therefore, I think this is an important book. I think our students will connect what is happening in this realistic fiction book with what they are seeing on t.v. right now (black people being killed with impunity, racism
Phil Jensen
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute and meaningful! Many books about serious issues push the story into intense, gritty territory. Ramée's book remembers to capture some of the highs, lows, and petty details of Middle School alongside the serious topics of the Black Lives Matter movement. This makes it accessible and relatable.

I appreciate that this book is written at about a 5th grade level with a squeaky-clean PG level of content. Other books with similar content are written for an older audience, and younger readers need t
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Dhonielle Clayton is a YA author, a 2018 Goodreads Choice Award nominee, and the chief operating officer of We Need Diverse Books, a...
88 likes · 10 comments
“Not everything that is faced can be changed,’” Daddy says, and then Hana cuts in and says, “‘But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” 3 likes
“hyperventilate.” 0 likes
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