Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt


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Henry Smith’s father told him that if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you.

Throughout his young life, Henry believes his father’s words. Trouble seems to avoid the Smiths and their charmed life in the tiny village of Blythbury-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. That is, until Henry’s beloved older brother Franklin is hit by a truck and later dies. His family is shattered by the loss.

Cambodian immigrant Chay Chouan has known nothing but Trouble. Years ago, he and his family escaped from a refugee camp and made their way to Massachusetts to start a new life. Despite facing prejudice and discrimination, Chay’s family begins to thrive, until he is involved in the truck accident that takes the life of the popular and athletic Franklin Smith. Like the Smiths, the Chouan family also falls apart.

Separately, both Henry and Chay decide to escape from Trouble by running away and heading north into Maine. By chance, the two meet on the road to Mount Katahdin, beginning a strange journey toward understanding and healing.

Trouble, by Gary D. Schmidt, shows us that we can’t always escape Trouble, but we can learn to live with it as a part of life.

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