A Good Kind of Trouble

by Lisa Moore Ramée

African American Shayla has grown up in the suburbs and went to a predominantly white... read more

African American Shayla has grown up in the suburbs and went to a predominantly white elementary school. Now in a more diverse middle school, Shayla is hurt and confused to discover some of the other Black kids believe she thinks she’s better than they are. Shayla is also confused and upset after a not guilty verdict is returned in a police shooting of a Black man. Shayla’s older sister Hana, a politically active high school senior, is among those protesting in response. Shayla doesn’t like stirring things up, and she doesn’t like drawing attention to herself, but she’s fueled by the injustice and inspired by Hana to start a black armband movement at school, only to find herself the target of admonishment by the administration. Shayla’s political awakening is set against a deft blend of spot-on middle school social issues, from changing old friendships to trying to forge new ones to first interest in romance, which plays out in believably awkward, sometimes painful ways. (Ages 10–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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