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The Resource The trouble in me, Jack Gantos

The trouble in me, Jack Gantos

Label
The trouble in me
Title
The trouble in me
Statement of responsibility
Jack Gantos
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • In his family's new rental home on a down-at-the heels street in sun-beaten Miami -- with dog-eating alligators in the canal out back, a dangerously attractive girl across the road, and the unhinged Pagoda family next door -- fourteen-year-old Jack is adrift, losing a sense of who he is and what he's all about. Which is why he ends up trying to morph himself into someone he's not, that someone being sixteen-year-old Gary Pagoda, a.k.a. Scary Gary, just back from juvie for car theft. Following Gary's lead that first time is just the start of Jack's series of bad decisions
  • Set in the Fort Lauderdale neighborhood of Jack's family's latest rental home, this autobiographical novel opens with an explosive encounter in which he meets his rebellious older neighbor, Gary Pagoda, just back from juvie for car theft. Instantly mesmerized, Jack decides he will do whatever it takes to be like Gary. But he may not be as ready as he thinks when the trouble in him comes blazing to life
Storyline
Tone
Character
Award
School Library Journal Best Books, 2015
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Grades 7-10 Know thyself, Alexander Pope advises us, and Gantos does that in spades in this insightful prequel to his award-winning memoir Hole in My Life (2002). Jack is 14 on the fateful day he meets his mysterious older neighbor Gary Pagoda and, enchanted, quickly becomes his acolyte. However, there’s trouble ahead, for Gary is the kind of kid parents warn their children against. But Jack doesn’t care. Bored, lonely, self-hating, and sad, he is on fire with the desire to be like Gary—or, better yet, to be Gary. But in seeking to emulate him, Jack’s behavior takes a precipitous turn for the worse. Will he flameout in the process of transforming himself? One of the tools the spellbinding Gantos uses in this incendiary fictionalized memoir is simile and metaphor. Fire is a recurring motif (it’s what brings the boys together and informs their developing relationship): meat drippings that Jack grills crisp like someone burning at the stake, while mosquitoes are winged formations of humming hypodermics. Abundant style and substance make this an irresistible cautionary tale that will doubtlessly drive eager readers back to Hole in My Life for further adventures.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Gantos has won a Newbery Medal, Printz Honor, Sibert Honor, and countless hearts. Readers will want to know how he became one of a kind. -- Cart, Michael (Reviewed 08-01-2015) (Booklist, vol 111, number 22, p60)
  • Gr 7–10—Situated sometime between the events in Jack's Black Book (1997) and Hole in My Life (2002, both Farrar), Gantos's latest offering is a fictionalized look at a critical juncture in his own adolescence. Shortly after moving to a new town, 14-year-old Jack meets Gary Pagoda, a way-too-cool-for-school delinquent who is the utter antithesis of Jack. He smokes, wears a black leather jacket, curses like a sailor, steals cars, may have impregnated a local girl, and shares Jack's enthusiasm for all things pyrotechnic. Dissatisfied with his own seeming weakness and looking to reinvent himself, Jack falls in love with the idea—if not exactly the reality—of bad boy Pagoda. In an effort to impress his new mentor, Jack literally risks life and limb in cringe-inducing scenes of backyard stunts involving fire, ropes, and all manner of terrible ideas—many of which should come with a "Don't try this at home!" warning label. Beneath the bravado, however, Jack struggles with self-acceptance and what it means to be a man. He allows his manipulative and mean role model to goad him into increasingly dangerous situations, losing pieces of himself with every moral compromise. Though it's clear by the end that Jack is not cut out for a criminal lifestyle, the seeds of his tendency to relinquish control of his life to others have been planted and the stage set for the trouble he meets in Hole in My Life. Gantos's characteristic humor and keen observation of the fragile teen psyche combine with heartbreaking authenticity in this unflinching look at how a good kid can easily go down a wrong path. VERDICT Hand this to the so-called "bad" kids, the lost kids, and the ones struggling to find their way.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal --Kiera Parrott (Reviewed 10/01/2015) (School Library Journal, vol 61, issue 10, p102)
  • This installment in Gantos’s ongoing chronicle of his tumultuous youth opens ominously, with 14-year-old Jackie crossing the backyard with matches and a can of lighter fluid. What could possibly go wrong? Conflagrations (more than one) follow as Jack, whose family has relocated again, attempts to reinvent himself in the image of his new neighbor, notorious juvenile delinquent, Gary Pagoda. Gary’s criminal skills include shoplifting, car theft, and possible statutory rape, but he also has a predilection for death-defying stunts—“the Pagoda Olympics”—like catapulting Jackie over the house in hopes of hitting the pool. Full of “don’t try this at home” moments (to the breaking point of credulity), Jack’s interior monologue also has a heartbreaking edge, as he struggles to distance himself from his father’s derogatory comments about his size and worth. Chronologically, the events Gantos describes partially bridge the gap between Jack’s Black Book (1997) and his Printz Honor winner, Hole in My Life (2002). The book also only covers a few weeks one summer—one suspects that Gantos isn’t finished mining his childhood for novel-worthy moments. Ages 12–up. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed June 22, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 25, p)
  • A misbegotten effort to reinvent himself leads young "Jack" to burn his notebooks and clothes, though not quite his bridges, in Gantos' latest burst of confessional fiction. This summer episode falls in chronology shortly after Jack's Black Book (1997). Dissatisfied with his life and looking for a new model, 14-year-old Jack fixes with characteristic lack of good judgment on next-door-neighbor Gary Pagoda—a leather-jacketed older teen fresh out of juvie. Gary turns out to be a dab hand not only at testing his new amanuensis with life-threatening backyard games, but also hot-wiring cars and other thrillingly illegal amusements. Reflected in both jacket cover and chapter titles, fire or fireworks play a recurring role in events as Jack tries to make a clean break with his past by torching both his childhood journals and his clothes (replacing the latter with shoplifted goods). Jack's narrative has a Wimpy Kid tone and appeal as, looking back, he's well-aware of his own youthful fecklessness and almost eager to point out where he went wrong. But, not very surprisingly for readers who have been following his checkered career, he turns out to be a miserable failure at real evil. Readers will laugh, possibly uneasily, at Jack's reckless antics and lack of impulse control, but they will probably also sympathize with his deep itch to make a change. (preface, afterword) (Historical fiction. 13-15)(Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10416429
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gantos, Jack
Index
no index present
Intended audience
970L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
UG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 7
  • 10
Reading level
6.1
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Teenage boys
  • Influence (Psychology)
  • Self-destructive behavior in adolescence
  • Friendship
  • Moving, Household
  • Behavior
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Friendship
  • Moving, Household
  • Humorous stories
  • Miami (Fla.)
  • Florida
Target audience
adolescent
Label
The trouble in me, Jack Gantos
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1412743
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xi, 208 pages
Isbn
9780374379957
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2015013115
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780374379957
  • (OCoLC)910878974
Label
The trouble in me, Jack Gantos
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1412743
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
xi, 208 pages
Isbn
9780374379957
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2015013115
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780374379957
  • (OCoLC)910878974

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Terrazas BranchBorrow it
      1105 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX, 78702, US
      30.2599154 -97.7334621
    • University Hills BranchBorrow it
      4701 Loyola Ln., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.3093017 -97.6664785
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