A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

…it would be nice to have a friend…who shares this awful thing, this feeling like maybe the world sort of hates you because of the color of your skin.

“I’m allergic to trouble,” twelve-year-old Shayla says, and she means it. Following the rules makes life easier, but now in her first year of junior high, it’s like the rules are changing. Rules about friends. Rules about boys. And maybe even rules about standing up for what’s right in A Good Kind of Trouble by author Lisa Moore Ramée.

Shayla’s voice carries this story with humor, heart, and the authenticity of an imperfect but principled girl in progress. Even with this middle grade novel’s social justice theme, it’s just as much a mix of universal growing pains—adolescents facing the newness, excitement, and awkwardness of an awkward stage.

It’s the last third of the novel, though, that pulled me in the most. The depiction of the alarming shame it is when people are more concerned with stopping peaceful protest than with addressing the injustices that led to protest in the first place. The message of the value of human life.

And what I may appreciate most about the novel is its nuance. The simple way it illustrates complexities in social and racial relations, and how Shayla’s journey isn’t just a path of easy, cheesy no-brainers. What she’s dealing with isn’t all black and white.

Pardon the pun.

I hope that many, many young readers of all backgrounds will get a hold of this amusing, relatable, timely, and inspiring read.