Read Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt Jason Culp Online


A dog, a mountain, and an ancient slave ship are featured in this latest page-turner from a versatile, award-winning author.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 involved in the fatal accident,A dog, a mountain, and an ancient slave ship are featured in this latest page-turner from a versatile, award-winning author.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 involved in the fatal accident, Henry experiences a journey that is both physically daunting and spiritually exhilarating. The writing combines breathtaking nature imagery and hilarious comedy, as only Gary Schmidt can....

Title : Trouble
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780545074599
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 297 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Trouble Reviews

  • Betsy
    2019-06-11 16:54

    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 fiction. The Wednesday Wars? Getting up there, but I think 13 and 14-year-olds would enjoy it. Trouble? Oh, Trouble. As I began reading this book I hoped that it would be for the same age range as The Wednesday Wars and that would be the end of it. Yet as I read on and got wrapped up in the story it became pretty clear that Schmidt has probably produced his most mature work of literature to date. Due to its content, this is the first Gary Schmidt book I have read that I would classify as “teen” through and through. Though it may have a tendency to be a little obvious in its overriding themes, Trouble is still a strong addition to the Gary D. Schmidt literary cannon. Just don’t seek it out in the children’s section of your local library.Seventh grader Henry Smith is the younger brother of school hero Franklin Smith, and that’s pretty much all he’s ever been known for. Franklin’s the kind of guy who does very well on the school’s sports teams, and he is more than happy to make everyone around him aware of the fact. That is, until the accident. Grievously injured by a car while running, Franklin’s accident is the fault of one Chay Chouan. Chay’s the son Cambodian refugees and his arrest sparks racial tensions between the mostly white town of Blythbury-by-the-Sea and the mostly Cambodian town of Merton. In the meantime Henry is convinced that if he climbs Mt. Katahdin (the mountain he and Franklin were going to mount before the accident) he will be able to unlock something in himself. What he doesn’t count on are the companions who help him along his way, or the way in which he helps them.Praising Schmidt’s descriptive talents sometimes makes a reviewer sound like a broken record. Particularly when you consider that he always describes things well. A person is described as empty, “as if the soul had left his body, and his body understood that it would never come back.” Or simply saying that a sky has turned “opal lavender.” There's a joy that comes from reading a writer that seems to get true pleasure out of writing beautiful things. Schmidt is one of those writers.The book is split into two perspectives. For the most part you’re getting things just over Henry’s shoulder. Then, occasionally, at the end of a chapter will be an italicized section told from Chay’s. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it took me 62 pages before I even figured out that these parts weren’t also via Henry. I guess in retrospect it’s obvious. Chay appears to be a difficult character to write, though. I mean, he’s perfect. There is almost no moment in this book when Chay doesn’t do the noble self-sacrificing thing when put to the test. If a saint’s car hit your brother, that saint couldn’t have a shinier halo than the one sitting on Chay Chouan’s head. In a way it’s a problem to have someone this good in a book. On the other hand, the moral implications inherent when a good man kills a guy with almost zero redeeming qualities are always interesting. Do you see why I keep saying that this is a teen novel? Henry, on the other hand, remains a rather opaque hero. While we often don’t know how Henry feels, seeing his actions rather than his thought process. This is both the blessing and the curse of getting all your info in the third person. The supporting cast in this book was maybe one of the strongest Schmidt has ever produced. I couldn’t tell you the name or personality of the best friend in The Wednesday Wars but Henry’s best friend Sanborn may be in the running for “Best Gary D. Schmidt Character in a Supporting Role”. He’s the kind of friend who routinely grinds our hero’s nose into the dirt, but in an infinitely loving way that you can totally get behind. He serves as the voice of reason for the first half the book and the devil’s advocate for the second. Some might see this as a flaw, but I think it's completely in keeping with his character. Sanborn just likes to get Henry’s goat, even if that means taking the wrong side once in a while. And Schmidt really lets loose when he introduces the character of Black Dog. At one point Henry rescues from the sea a wounded dog of happy disposition and unprecedented destructive capabilities. I’m not much of a dog person myself, and Black Dog’s cheerful/wanton ruination of Henry’s house should probably have made me furious. But Schmidt knows how to make a character twist you around his/her/its little finger and for that I am glad.I guess that if I have a problem with this novel it concerns the racial tensions in the book. First of all, I think that one of the hardest jobs a writer can undertake is to write racist characters that don’t think of themselves as racist. And Schmidt has an ear for just exactly the right tone of voice when it comes to something like an editorial in a newspaper. “Only those undeserving of the privileges of American citizenship could be responsible.” Pitch perfect. Yet this book plays its hand pretty openly. I would have liked a little more nuance or complexity concerning the whole white vs. Cambodian storyline. You'd have to be pretty dense to miss some of what Schmidt's saying here about white privilege. For all that, it’s a Gary Schmidt novel through and through. A bit of a slow start in the first chapter, but then once Henry rescues the dog it’s off and running. With its mature subject matter (there’s a mention of a rape that plays directly into the history of one of the characters), beautiful writing, and unique characters, Trouble may have some difficulty finding the right audience. Yet for the teen that does choose to pick it up, there’s a lot here to ponder. A lovely book if a bit loose here and there.Ages 14 and up.

  • JonathanT
    2019-06-05 15:10

    Even on the second time through, this book KNOCKED ME FROM MY FEET. The plot is smooth and consistent, and it glides along with precision all the way to the shocking conclusion. The characters are real and honest. The atmosphere is set with careful word choice and vivid settings. Every element comes into play, some way or another, weaving together into a poignant, moving book about a boy, a family, a community, a crisis, an immigrant, a death. And trouble. PLENTY of trouble. READ THIS IF YOU DARE. Just prepare yourself to get socked in the gut emotionally, and remember that things aren't always what they look like. I'd recommend this for ages 14+.

  • Molly
    2019-06-13 17:02

    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 above the narrative itself. And there's just so much I did love in this book. I loved Black Dog fiercely. I loved the entirely real portrayl of a brother and sister discovering each other's separate selves--and being both total strangers and absolute mirrors of one another at the same time. I love the inherent capital-T Truth that's always at the core of Gary's books. I loved the line in the last few pages about Trouble and Grace being all that there is. I loved the very final last line that was aching and fulfilling all at once. Most of all, I love how as soon as I finish reading one of Gary Schmidt's books (and this has happened with them all), my first instinct is simply to flip the book back to the beginning, and start reading again all over again, without even looking up, because I'm never quite ready to leave his worlds and his words.I want to be a writer like Gary Schmidt when I grow up.

  • Chris
    2019-05-19 17:11

    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 to climb Mount Katahdin in Maine only to discover that the one responsible for his brother’s death is headed in the same direction. There’s no question Schmidt writes from a wealth of life experience. When he writes about lawyers, he knows about lawyers. When he writes about snobby prep schools, he knows about snobby prep schools. I could go on and on. Schmidt is strong in pretty much all phases of the game as he weaves a memorable tale of forgiveness and redemption. (I’m trying to read as many of the Golden Sower preview books as I can before the end of July in order to be an educated voter. This book has jumped to the top of my list.)

  • Jenna Buss
    2019-05-25 12:04

    The first few pages were difficult to get through, because the author spent WAY too much time describing the setting. However, I enjoyed how the author developed the characters throughout the book, as well as the plot twists that left me stunned.Now that I think about it, I should have seen them coming from a mile away. But since I was so immersed in the story, it was hard to take a step back and look at the big picture.I liked the characters' growth throughout the story. particularly Henry's. However, some of the characters did not have much of an effect on the storyline, and I wish Schmidt had spent more time further developing characters like Henry's parents.On the other hand, I enjoyed the impact of Black Dog, and how she tied into the book smoothly was admirable.Overall, an enjoyable story with a few flaws.

  • Heather
    2019-06-05 19:52

    (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 an engaging, believable story of a boy trying to make sense of his emotions when his perfect New England, prep school world comes crashing down around him. Schmidt draws racial and cultural prejudices into question by encouraging the reader to see the human story behind someone labeled as "Other" (i.e. "not like me/us"). And he deftly explores the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and how we deal with grief both collectively and personally. For me, this book is the young adult version of Cry the Beloved Country. This is a must-read for young adults and adults. It will make you laugh, cry, and cheer for what is decent and good in human beings. My favorite line from the book: "And so Henry know something else, too. The world is Trouble . . . and Grace. That is all there is."

  • Ryan
    2019-06-15 18:03

    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 provide a visual image of what can be difficult to describe. Van Gogh's bright colors can still look freshly painted, but he never paints light without darkness, and this book is about learning to live with the darkness that is Trouble and discovering the light that is Grace. Henry's father often says 'If you build your house far away from Trouble then Trouble will never find you', only Henry quickly discovers this isn't true and is lost trying to learn to live with Trouble. I like that Trouble is a character in the book. The words describe an idyllic life with day prep schools and school colors and strong, normal young people who go to these schools and live in lovely houses with History. A place that Trouble can't possibly live. Only there is no light without dark and Henry is faced with the darkness very suddenly.The book also reveals that the highly educated, who are supposed to be more enlightened, are as human as the working classes and have darker attitudes toward immigration than perhaps even they would like to accept. Its fine for Those people to live in That place away from us, but not to go to our schools or date our children. Or participate in Our Sports like crew. America is not a very welcoming place, though it is so often the destination of those without hope.If the end was a bit too nicely resolved...well, I can forgive a lot when a book is this well done.If I were planning curriculum, I would use this book to discuss the current immigration debate, to highlight that all of us are immigrants and those with the longest history of squatting on this soil often have the least to be proud about.

  • Dian Cronan
    2019-05-26 16:52

    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 each other on their journey to climb a dangerous mountain.

  • Joyce Yattoni
    2019-06-01 20:08

    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 which I truly enjoyed. This will make a great book club read for YA.

  • Lisa Simmons
    2019-05-22 15:48

    Engaging storytelling, skillful writing, fascinating plot line. Suspenseful, dramatic. Even though I knew some of main plot points thanks to back cover and reviews, I was never sure how the author would get us there or where the story would go afterwards. I don't think all storylines with the sister had enough to be convincing but given other strengths of book, I'm willing to forgive these. I'm left thinking about family relations, Cambodia's modern history, forgiveness and, of course, Trouble. Strongly recommend!

  • Laura
    2019-06-01 18:59

    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 that the author is more comfortable writing what he knows, which is, well, the near past. And then there's over exposition, over description, and banging on the head with Important Information. As with his last book (Wednesday Wars), I think I'll have a difficult time selling this to my kids. And believe me, with the last one, I really, really tried.

  • Alyssa
    2019-05-24 15:57

    I did not like this book. It started slow, but never picked up. There was a few small action parts, but they still did not make the book good and did not flow well. I also disliked the main character. He tried to pick fights, and had almost no personality. I also despised how unobservant and oblivious he was. It was almost to the point of being unrealistic, and while I will not spoil the book by providing examples, it took him FOREVER to figure out the most obvious things. I think this would have been more interesting from Chay's view. Plus, while there was description, there was almost always too much or none. I had no idea what most of the characters looked like. I would not recommend this book.

  • Stacy
    2019-05-31 19:15

    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 enjoyed it and found myself sympathetic to many of the characters. I got lost in it and that's the telltale sign of a good book.

  • Jamie
    2019-06-10 15:07

    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.)Overall, I felt the book seemed "underdone."

  • Susan
    2019-06-07 19:12

    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 Newbery Honor for this book in 2009.

  • Rebecca
    2019-06-13 17:00

    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.

  • Karlan
    2019-06-11 17:15

    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.

  • Heather Perkinson
    2019-06-08 18:03

    Resisted reading this for a while, wish I hadn't--it was really excellent and combined a lot of my favorite things: suspense/mystery, issues (racism, class), history, and as an added bonus, it's narrated by a likeable but not too perfect boy character. Oh, and there's a good dog.

  • Lauren
    2019-05-22 19:09

    Gary Schmidt has not failed me yet! I didn't like it quite as much as the Wednesday Wars or Okay for Now, but I attribute it to the fact that this has more mature content, and deeper character conflicts.

  • Robert
    2019-05-30 20:06

    This is a great book with a strong message about trouble being everywhere know matter who you are, where you live and what ethnic background you come from. Racism and bigotry are cleverly addressed as the characters and plot evolve.

  • Michele
    2019-05-29 19:10

    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.

  • Rita
    2019-05-27 18:05

    Another fabulous book by Gary Schmidt. I hope he wins the Newbery for this one!

  • Cindy Dobrez
    2019-05-22 19:07

  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
    2019-05-18 17:53

    Schmidt, Gary D. Trouble, 297 p. Clarion, 2008. Henry’s family is perfect. Well, at least his parents, his sister and his older brother are perfect. Their white bread, tight-knit community is built far away from Trouble (yep, with a capital “T”). Then one day Trouble comes knocking – Henry’s brother is mortally injured in a car accident, by a Cambodian refugee goes to Henry’s own private school. Now his parents are falling apart and his sister refuses to come out of her room. And all Henry can find is anger. Henry decided to take up his brother’s challenge to climb Mt. Katahdin – along the way, however, he encounters Chay, the same young man who hit his brother, who has issues and challenges of his own beyond the accident. The first chapter of the book reads as stilted and stuffy as the Blythbury-by-the-Sea makes itself out to be – above the human masses. What I really wish is that Chay’s story had been better developed and that we had been allowed to hear his voice. While Henry developed just fine, I think we are really missing books about the lives of new immigrants to America. MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library-Teacher.

  • Kamden M
    2019-06-14 12:56

    Have you ever had your entire life turned upside down in one second? For young Henry Smith it was a moment that changed his entire family. Henry Smith is a young teenage boy with a very popular brother who can do everything, or so it seemed. Henry always looked up to his older brother, Franklin, but when Franklin shows a weak side in fighting off certain events Henry is willing to prove himself and fulfill his and his brother's late dreams. In the story the Smiths live on the coast of Massachusetts, which is where Franklin and Henry dream of climbing mountains.This book is definitely one to read! It starts off very fast with an incredible accident. Then it proceeds to address racial injustice between community members and fellow schoolmates. For example, there is an incident with Cambodian immigrant where the Smith family thinks they are below them because they are different. Do you want to remember someone but what they did do or what they didn't?

  • Renata Hundley
    2019-05-19 17:11

    I am a fan of Gary D. Schmidt books, so was happy to discover this one I had never heard of. Schmidt has a gift for descriptive writing that is combined with seemingly real but tragic life events that always resolve on a hopeful note. "Trouble" brings together a New England family who have been in their home for three centuries and their upper class white community with a Cambodian refugee family. The descriptions of the New England coast and the mountains of Maine create an environment in which tradition, racism, fear, sorrow, and death encounter love, kindness, and grace. Another beautiful Schmidt novel that made me laugh, cry, sit on the edge of my seat, and renew my faith in good deeds and mercy.

  • Suzanne
    2019-05-22 11:58

    I absolutely adored this book. I can’t stop thinking about it and as soon as I finished I wanted to read it again. Every time I put it down I felt like I was pausing a movie. The setting and characters are so well created that I see them in my mind. To me, it’s a story about seeing people for who they really are sometimes accepting hard truths. It shows us people can change for the right reasons. It shows survival after walking through hard times. It’s about redemption through trouble, and family, truth and loyalty. It’s no secret that Gary Schmidt is one of my newly discovered favorite authors and this ranks up with Orbiting Jupiter for me.

  • grace
    2019-05-27 12:12

    i read this book for school, and i really enjoyed the plot twists (situational irony @kevin). i don't normally read realistic fiction but this wasn't the worst book i've read for school. it wasn't the best, though, either.that being said, the subject matter was dark. there's insinuated rape, death, bullying... this isn't a light book to read for fun. the conflict is deep, and it exposes pretty big problems.#sanbornisunderappreciated

  • Leslie Kay
    2019-05-31 17:17

    Beautifully told story about all sorts of trouble. Books like these, that speak the truth, always cause an ache inside of me, for the realness, the sadness and the hope. Loved the characters and the conclusions. Favorite Quote: The world is Trouble. . .and Grace. That is all there is.

  • Mitchell Johnson
    2019-06-15 17:15

    With well developed characters and an enticing plot twist, Trouble may be appealing to young readers. However, a disappointing ending and weird and wacky plot that is all over the place make the book bland.