It’s no secret that Megan and I enjoy a good cup of tea. So, in honor of our tea appreciation, I’m introducing a new review style: a teabag-sized review. You might consider our normal reviews to be a cup of tea to savor; a teabag is the short and sweet alternative, similar in length to a title’s discussion in a weekly round-up but which appears all by its lonesome. Sometimes, we just want to let you know a book is out there! So, without further ado, here’s a teabag-sized review of Trouble by Gary Schmidt.

Gary D. Schmidt
Clarion, 2008

Trouble takes place near Trouble (a location) and involves heaps of trouble in the lives of young Henry, his family, and a Cambodian named Chay. Schmidt’s gift for description, intricate plotting, and terrific characterization come into play, as does his frequent treatment of a young person turning his/her face to adulthood–with all the drama and coming-of-age that implies. This is a book for an older audience than Schmidt’s Okay for Now and The Wednesday Wars; I’d even say it’s for an older audience than Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. Issues that crop up include racism, guilt/innocence, family relations, friendship. A touch long, in my opinion, and therefore a touch slow, this book is still a good read and one to provoke much thought.