Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Salon - Trouble by Gary Schmidt

Sunday Salon is me telling you about the book I'm currently reading. I'm taking a Youth Literature Seminar class this summer and we have to read two books this week: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and Trouble. Checking my bookcases I found an MP3 of Trouble and a hardcover of Wintergirls. Since I'm doing some cleaning, as my own personal Mother's Day gift, I thought this would be a good time to listen to Trouble.

Gary Schmidt
Scholastic Audiobooks
Read by Jason Culp - Unabridged

Synopsis from Scholastic website:

Climbing Katahdin, the hightest mountain in Maine, is the goal that 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, Henry experiences a journey that is both physically daunting and spiritually exhilarating. The writing combines breathtaking nature imagery and hilarious comedy, as only Gary D. Schmidt can.

What I'm Thinking
Henry and his older brother Franklin have a normal relationship - Henry hero-worships Franklin and Franklin ignores him. It doesn't really help matters that Franklin is good at everything and the town adores him.

Schmidt's sense of humor peaks through this first chapter in a very subtle manner - the greatest job of the two police officers - is picking up trash some outsider left behind and the town all clap when Franklin recovers from a broken ankle.

On Henry's 14th birthday Franklin agreed to take Henry on a climb up Mt. Katahdan, basically because their Dad was making them. But that night they learn that Franklin was hit by a driver sleeping at the wheel and had a brain tumor.

So far this really good! The only problem - I keep stopping my chores to listen more closely! Schmidt has great descriptions and this Jason Culp is a good reader. His slight inflections bring each character to life and injects the audio with an understated humor in the right places.

I have to go to a Mother's Day Dinner now! I know I will get to finish this by week's end!


  1. Thanks for your suggestions about middle-school readers. I'll check some of these out!

  2. Hey! You have recieved an award at my blog! Come check it out!

  3. I couldn't take that class you are in! Start and finish 2 books in one week? I'd never make the deadline! lol I had not heard of Trouble so it was interesting to read about it.


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