Shayla Willows and her best friends Julia and Isabella make up the “united nations.” Shayla is African-American, Julia is Japanese-American and Isabella is Puerto Rican--three girls from different racial backgrounds but alike in everything that really matters. At least that’s what they’ve always thought.
Junior High changes things.
Without her braces and unibrow, Isabella is suddenly gorgeous and capturing the attention of Shayla’s crush. Julia inexplicably seems more interested in hanging out with an all-Asian group than her best friends and is talking weird. And maybe the biggest change of all is with Shayla herself. Shayla’s always been allergic to trouble, so it doesn’t make sense that she’d let her uncoordinated self be talked into trying out for the track team, or why she’d stand up for a bully. But the biggest change by far is how Shayla is realizing, with all the cases of police brutality she’s seeing on the news, that race, does indeed matter.
When Shayla wears a black armband to school in support of Black Lives Matter, the principal tells her the armbands are against dress code. Take it off or be off the track team.
Shayla must decide if standing up for what you believe is worth the trouble.
*Reviews for A Good Kind of Trouble*
“Shay’s voice is so genuine--she practically walks off the page. This is an important book, and an incredible debut.” -Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Medal-winning author of Hello, Universe
“Full of heart and truth, A Good Kind of Trouble has all of the making to be this generation’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Much like Cassie Logan, Shayla’s experiences, pitfalls, and triumphs will inspire young people for years to come. It is a well-written page turner with a voice that stays with you long after you put the book down.” -Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give
“Gripping from the opening line, A Good Kind of Trouble is a tender, insightful, and unique look at what it means to stand up for what you believe in and be brave. Shay is the type of heroine who inspires us all to take a stand.” -Jay Coles, author of Tyler Johnson Was Here
"A timely, funny, and unforgettable debut about friendship, facing your fears, and standing up for what's right. – Kirkus starred review
“Ramée effectively portrays the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and the difficulty of navigating complex social situations while conveying universal middle school questions about friendship, first crushes, and identity. Shay’s journey is an authentic and engaging political and personal awakening.” – Publishers Weekly starred review
“Reminiscent in writing style to works by Lauren Myracle and Jason Reynolds, this novel [shows] Shayla’s typical middle school problems, then switches to the very specific problems she faces as a young black girl in America…[For] middle grade readers who aren’t yet ready for Thomas’s The Hate U Give.” — School Library Journal starred review
Shayla’s first-person account is honest and relatable as she tries to do the right thing by her peers, her school community, and herself. The protagonist’s emotional and civic maturation is believably portrayed, and as her understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement clarifies and deepens, so does the reader’s. Ramée’s debut novel presents a nuanced view of race, self-discovery, and social justice. - The Horn Book