Friday, June 17, 2011

Troublemaker by Andrew Clements

     Clay is a troublemaker and a frequent visitor to the principal's office.  His file is so thick with incident reports that the school secretary calls it her masterpiece.  However, when Clay's brother Mitch is released from jail after serving a month for contempt of court, Mitch sets out to change Clay's ways.  While it's not easy giving up throwing food at lunch, Halloween and hanging with his troublemaker friends Clay learns to trust his brother's words of wisdom.
     Andrew Clements has written another terrific story for middle graders.  Readers will get a glimpse as to why someone might bully and make fun of others.  The secondary characters are well drawn and Mrs. Ormin the school secretary is my favorite.  Mitch is believable as the reformed troublemaker older brother and we can see why Clay idolized him both before and after his jail sentence.  The writing is smooth and the illustrations (although not final) work well with the story.  Recommended for 3-6 graders.  Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Simon & Schuster.  Troublemaker will be available on July 26, 2011.

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