CHARACTERS ´ Trouble By Gary D Schmidt


SUMMARY ó GYM-APPAREL.CO.UK ¹ Gary D. Schmidt A dog a mountain and an ancient slave ship are featured in this latest page turner from a versatile award winning authorClimbing Katahdin the highest mountain in Maine is the goal tha. You know as a children’s librarian Gary Schmidt gives me no end of for lack of a better word trouble As far as I can tell he’s probably one of those authors that doesn’t like to begin writing a book by pigeonholing it for a single age group If I'm right then it would explain why his oeuvre does a funny dance between children’s literature and young adult literature without the author ever fully belonging to one or the other Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy Children’s historical fiction The Wednesday Wars Getting up there but I think 13 and 14 year olds would enjoy it Trouble Oh Trouble As I began reading this book I hoped that it would be for the same age range as The Wednesday Wars and that would be the end of it Yet as I read on and got wrapped up in the story it became pretty clear that Schmidt has probably produced his most mature work of literature to date Due to its content this is the first Gary Schmidt book I have read that I would classify as “teen” through and through Though it may have a tendency to be a little obvious in its overriding themes Trouble is still a strong addition to the Gary D Schmidt literary cannon Just don’t seek it out in the children’s section of your local library Seventh grader Henry Smith is the younger brother of school hero Franklin Smith and that’s pretty much all he’s ever been known for Franklin’s the kind of guy who does very well on the school’s sports teams and he is than happy to make everyone around him aware of the fact That is until the accident Grievously injured by a car while running Franklin’s accident is the fault of one Chay Chouan Chay’s the son Cambodian refugees and his arrest sparks racial tensions between the mostly white town of Blythbury by the Sea and the mostly Cambodian town of Merton In the meantime Henry is convinced that if he climbs Mt Katahdin the mountain he and Franklin were going to mount before the accident he will be able to unlock something in himself What he doesn’t count on are the companions who help him along his way or the way in which he helps them Praising Schmidt’s descriptive talents sometimes makes a reviewer sound like a broken record Particularly when you consider that he always describes things well A person is described as empty “as if the soul had left his body and his body understood that it would never come back” Or simply saying that a sky has turned “opal lavender” There's a joy that comes from reading a writer that seems to get true pleasure out of writing beautiful things Schmidt is one of those writers The book is split into two perspectives For the most part you’re getting things just over Henry’s shoulder Then occasionally at the end of a chapter will be an italicized section told from Chay’s I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it took me 62 pages before I even figured out that these parts weren’t also via Henry I guess in retrospect it’s obvious Chay appears to be a difficult character to write though I mean he’s perfect There is almost no moment in this book when Chay doesn’t do the noble self sacrificing thing when put to the test If a saint’s car hit your brother that saint couldn’t have a shinier halo than the one sitting on Chay Chouan’s head In a way it’s a problem to have someone this good in a book On the other hand the moral implications inherent when a good man kills a guy with almost zero redeeming ualities are always interesting Do you see why I keep saying that this is a teen novel Henry on the other hand remains a rather opaue hero While we often don’t know how Henry feels seeing his actions rather than his thought process This is both the blessing and the curse of getting all your info in the third person The supporting cast in this book was maybe one of the strongest Schmidt has ever produced I couldn’t tell you the name or personality of the best friend in The Wednesday Wars but Henry’s best friend Sanborn may be in the running for “Best Gary D Schmidt Character in a Supporting Role” He’s the kind of friend who routinely grinds our hero’s nose into the dirt but in an infinitely loving way that you can totally get behind He serves as the voice of reason for the first half the book and the devil’s advocate for the second Some might see this as a flaw but I think it's completely in keeping with his character Sanborn just likes to get Henry’s goat even if that means taking the wrong side once in a while And Schmidt really lets loose when he introduces the character of Black Dog At one point Henry rescues from the sea a wounded dog of happy disposition and unprecedented destructive capabilities I’m not much of a dog person myself and Black Dog’s cheerfulwanton ruination of Henry’s house should probably have made me furious But Schmidt knows how to make a character twist you around hisherits little finger and for that I am glad I guess that if I have a problem with this novel it concerns the racial tensions in the book First of all I think that one of the hardest jobs a writer can undertake is to write racist characters that don’t think of themselves as racist And Schmidt has an ear for just exactly the right tone of voice when it comes to something like an editorial in a newspaper “Only those undeserving of the privileges of American citizenship could be responsible” Pitch perfect Yet this book plays its hand pretty openly I would have liked a little nuance or complexity concerning the whole white vs Cambodian storyline You'd have to be pretty dense to miss some of what Schmidt's saying here about white privilege For all that it’s a Gary Schmidt novel through and through A bit of a slow start in the first chapter but then once Henry rescues the dog it’s off and running With its mature subject matter there’s a mention of a rape that plays directly into the history of one of the characters beautiful writing and uniue characters Trouble may have some difficulty finding the right audience Yet for the teen that does choose to pick it up there’s a lot here to ponder A lovely book if a bit loose here and thereAges 14 and up

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CHARACTERS ´ Trouble By Gary D. Schmidt Ï [Ebook] ➠ Trouble ➦ Gary D. Schmidt – A dog a mountain and an ancient slave ship are featured in this latest page turner from a versatile award winning authorClimbing Katahdin the highest mountain in Maine is the goal that Henry sets hims A dog a mountain and an Henry experiences a journey that is both physically daunting and spiritually exhilarating The writing combines breathtaking nature imagery and hilarious comedy as only Gary Schmidt ca. The road trip portion is the best part of Trouble because we finally get to know Chay Unfortunately we only got snippets of the story from his perspective He's a fantastic character and his story is such a compelling one that it seems a real shame we really only just begin to know him The trouble stuff felt really ham fisted and I wish it had been edited out because it distracts from an otherwise beautiful story

Gary D. Schmidt ¹ 1 CHARACTERS

Trouble By Gary D. SchmiT Henry sets himself when his brother dies following a car accident Along with his dog his best friend and surprisingly the Cambodian boy whose car was involved in the fatal accident. I’ve found that some authors make me feel good about my own abilities as a writer I read their work and I think to myself ‘OK I’m relatively certain I’m at least in the same league with this and such author’ No such luck with Gary Schmidt This guy is an absolute pro Trouble is a gritty young adult novel about a teenager whose all star older brother is struck and killed by a truck apparently driven by a young Cambodian refugee In the aftermath of this tragedy Henry sets out on a uest to climb Mount Katahdin in Maine only to discover that the one responsible for his brother’s death is headed in the same direction There’s no uestion Schmidt writes from a wealth of life experience When he writes about lawyers he knows about lawyers When he writes about snobby prep schools he knows about snobby prep schools I could go on and on Schmidt is strong in pretty much all phases of the game as he weaves a memorable tale of forgiveness and redemption I’m trying to read as many of the Golden Sower preview books as I can before the end of July in order to be an educated voter This book has jumped to the top of my list