Troublemaker – John Cho

This little troublemaker who goes by the name of Jordan is the reason why, at the age of 24, I still read Middle Grade Fiction, and can enjoy every second of my experience.

I used to fear growing up as a bookworm, because when I was a preteen, I loved reading ‘‘up’’ about sixteen and seventeen-year-old characters who woke up one morning to discover that they’re so much more special than they thought. I would lie if I said I didn’t hope to wake up one morning and feel the same way. But the closer I’d get to outgrow these characters, the more I’d worry that I wouldn’t be able to connect.

But that’s before I realized that there are a multitude of connections possible in this universe – physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, to name a few common ones – so it doesn’t take me being Jordan’s age or growing up in his neighbourhood to feel invested in him and the people he cares about. All it takes is me being open to knowing more about him and trying to see things from his point of view.

Because, see, Jordan really is a troublemaker. He’s cheating in school, being disrespectful to family members, lying, hiding, getting into trouble, not listening to adults, and more—way more. But here’s the thing: Jordan is someone who can think for himself, and stand on his own, or at least be brave enough to try. He also may not always do what he is told, but the truth is that the world needs a few rebels. People who dare to think differently and take risks. I’m not even a little bit recommending readers hide a gun inside their backpacks and run around town, trying to deliver that gun to someone, but intentions count a lot in any type of situation, and it’s not realistic to expect someone to stay put when their heart tells them they have to act.

It was a beautiful and thrilling read that I recommend to all ages!

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the copy in exchange for a review.

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