Middle School in the Time of Social Awakening

Today I have a book that tackles middle school in the time of social awakening.  The author does a marvelous job of capturing the anxiety and nervousness of middle school and the changes in friend groups during a time when social issues that stymie many adults are on the rise.

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middle school in the time of social awakening

Title: A Good Kind of Trouble

Author: Lisa Moore Ramee

Target: Grades 4-8

Series: No

What this book is about:

Shayla has started middle school and she would like to keep her friend group from elementary school intact.  They call themselves the United Nations because Shayla is Black, Isabella is Hispanic and Julia is Asian.  But they struggle as new groups emerge and they feel a tug to also be friends with kids who look like them.  Throw in managing the everyday stress of middle school and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement and these kids have a lot of learning and growing to do.

Why I love this book: 

  • Ok, I admit I cried while reading.  I think Shayla reminded me a lot of myself in middle school – a person who is always trying to be good, hasn’t quite come into their own, and is struggling with friendships.  Venturing out of your comfort zone is really hard and I could absolutely understand her fears in that respect.
  • I really appreciated how this book dealt with needing both friends who share your experiences as well as friends who just fit your personality.  They both play a role in your life.
  • This story brought the Black Lives Matter movement out of the abstract and shows readers how it affects black families: the choices they make and the fears they have.  

Who this book is for:

Great for most kids who are thinking about middle school and the challenges that surround it.  A wonderful book for kids who want to understand what it feels like to be black in middle school and it is a chance for black readers to feel seen.  Good choice for fans of What Lane? or The 47 People You’ll Meet in Middle School.

Final thoughts:

This book really touched me.  Shayla is just such a relatable character. Her awakening is quieter and more hesitant, but no less enlightening and moving.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: A Good Kind of Trouble.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.