Melissa's Reviews > Trouble

Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt
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Jun 02, 2012

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bookshelves: accidents, young-adult, racism

When Henry's older brother is in an auto accident the world turns upside down. Henry's family is the ultimate WASP family in a wealthy, seaside, New England town. The person who hit their son Franklin, was a Cambodian teen Chay, who was attending their son's school (the only non-white student) and who was secretly involved with Franklin and Henry's sister Louisa. The accident leads to a firestorm of controversy in the town when Chay is given probation without jail time and Franklin dies. Henry has to deal with his family coming apart, the destructive tendencies of his new dog, a historical ship showing up on their private beach, bonding with Chay, figuring out the truth about Franklin and Louise's involvement with his accident and running away to climb a mountain. This is a beautifully written story, the pacing perfect for a family in shock and healing and the racism and immigration issues huge yet easy for the author to control in this small town environment. It's hard, it's depressing, it may be too much for middle school.
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