Welcome to the first week of WNDB Summer Reading! We are excited for everyone to join together, while many of us are home, to engage in discussions on race and diversity. This week we will be focusing on the middle grade novel A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée. Here’s Lisa talking about her book and the inspiration behind it.
As you begin exploring A Good Kind of Trouble, please check out this education guide designed by Education Researcher B. J. McDaniel to help encourage discussion and engagement. Included are comprehension questions, follow-up activities, and a further reading list.
Lisa also shared more of her thoughts on her book in this WNDB Summer Reading blog post, “Both Pain and Joy are Part of Kids’ Lives.”
WNDB is proud to be partnering with Mahogany Books, a Black-owned bookstore in Washington, DC, for this program. Please consider ordering your books with them. Email your receipt from Mahogany Books to email@example.com to receive #WNDBSummerReading bookmarks and WNDB stickers, while supplies last.
[WNDB Summer Reading Credits]
Hi, I’m Lisa Moore Ramée.
What do you do when you suddenly find the friends that you’ve had — pretty much all your life — are maybe not your friends anymore, and there’s a bully that’s after you, and a boy you like couldn’t care less about you, and teachers are acting kind of unfair, and your mom is setting rules for you that other friends don’t have to follow, and people are saying that you’re not black enough? Like, what does that even mean?
Well, that’s the story of A GOOD KIND OF TROUBLE. [Lisa holds up a copy of the book A GOOD KIND OF TROUBLE] That is Shayla’s story. She has all these problems in her world, and unfortunately for her when she gets anywhere near trouble her palms start to itch. At the same time that she’s dealing with pretty normal problems that you might have at school, she’s also dealing with Black Lives Matter, and the fact that her sister is very involved in the movement, but Shayla’s afraid of it. She sees that the people who go out and protest sometimes are not treated well by the police. She also sees images on TV of people being harmed by police, sometimes even killed by police, Black people who are not being treated fairly, and Shayla really wonders whether or not it means that the police and other people in society just don’t like Black people. It’s a really hard question that she has to grapple with and that was a big inspiration of what went into writing this book.
But I didn’t want to make it a book that was simply about protest and simply about the problems that you can find within society. I wanted to make sure that it had laughter and had more things to think about than just one idea. So I’m hoping that all sorts of people enjoy reading the book. I hope that it teaches them something about what it means to be part of a movement, and what it means to stand up for yourself and to do the right thing even if it’s going to get you into some trouble. Hope you enjoy it!
Graphics by Amber Hooke
Edited by JoAnn Yao