A Good Kind of Trouble

A Good Kind of Trouble
Written by Lisa Moore Ramee

Publisher’s Summary:
Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. (Oh, and she’d also like to make it through seventh grade with her best friendships intact, learn to run track, and have a cute boy see past her giant forehead.) But in junior high, it’s like all the rules have changed. Now she’s suddenly questioning who her best friends are and some people at school are saying she’s not black enough. Wait, what? Shay’s sister, Hana, is involved in Black Lives Matter, but Shay doesn’t think that’s for her. After experiencing a powerful protest, though, Shay decides some rules are worth breaking. She starts wearing an armband to school in support of the Black Lives movement. Soon everyone is taking sides. And she is given an ultimatum. Shay is scared to do the wrong thing (and even more scared to do the right thing), but if she doesn’t face her fear, she’ll be forever tripping over the next hurdle. Now that’s trouble, for real.

Primary Source Pairing:
Readers will have a variety of text to self connections from all of the events that happened during the year of 2020 and in the Black Lives Matter movement. Shay’s experiences will allow readers to see life through her eyes as she forges her path and faces her fears. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study three different images from Black Lives Matters marches in 2020. Encourage students to make connections to the text and to their contemporary experiences. 

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What’s happening in the image?
  • Notice the signs that are in the photographs.
  • What do they say?
  • Identify a theme for all three photographs.
  • Make a connection to something you see in the photographs with something you read in the book A Good Kind of Trouble.
  • What connections do you have to what you see in these photographs?
  • Reflect on how these photographs make you feel.

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Black Lives Matter, Anti-racism rally at Vancouver Art Gallery, May 31, 2020, posted by GoToVan from Vancouver, Canada: Wikimedia Commons
Black Lives Matter Protest – Washington, DC, June 2, 2020, posted on Flickr by yashmori, https://www.flickr.com/photos/yashmori/49975591316/.
Black Lives Matter Sheffield protest 2020, June 6, 2020, posted on Flickr by Tim Dennell, https://www.flickr.com/photos/shefftim/49993858708.

Related Primary Source Pairing:
The Hate U Give, Written by Angie Thomas