Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

A Good Kind of Trouble

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

When I started reading A Good Kind of Trouble (Balzer + Bray, 2019) by Lisa Moore Ramée, I thought, here we go again with another friends-changing-when-they-enter-Junior-High story. But it’s so much more than that. It’s about your own identity and how you don’t have to fit in a box. It’s about getting rid of assumptions. And standing up for what you believe in. And, yes, changing friendships.

Twelve-year-old Shayla wants to avoid trouble, but she discovers that sometimes you have to be trouble. Whether it’s in a relationship with friends or standing up to others, Shayla learns how to do the right thing.

I love the first line: “I’m allergic to trouble.” There’s strong seventh grade voice and humor in this story. This book is a Walter Dean Meyers Honor book, and can also help explain why Black Lives Matter.

Lisa is also the author of Something to Say (2020) and has a middle grade fantasy called Mapmaker coming in 2022. Read more about her here.

Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Total Tragedy of a Girl named Hamlet

Unless you’re Hamlet…
The Total Tragedy of a Girl named Hamlet (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010) by Erin Dionne is one funny book. Here’s an intro:
It’s the first day of 8th grade and Hamlet wants to be invisible. Her mother, in full Shakespearean regalia, insists on walking Hamlet and her 7-year-old sister to the school office. 7-year-old Desdemona (Dezzie) is a genius who has been homeschooled and can’t go to college yet because she doesn’t have art or music, so here she is at Howard Hoffer Junior High to make up for the deficit. And Hamlet has to escort her from class to class. What could be more embarrassing?
Don’t ask, because it’s going to happen.
On Erin’s website it says “Her books are for teens, tweens, and anyone who survived junior high” and I have to agree after reading her first book and this one.