Nothing But Trouble Review
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Unabridged Digital Audiobook
Runtime: 6 hours, 7 minutes
Read by Brittany Pressley

In recent months, young people have started stepping forward to talk about what’s important to them. In the audio edition of Nothing but Trouble by author Jacqueline Davies, a couple of clever and spirited young girls find a different—and more scientific—way to rally their classmates.

The story shakes things up in the small town of Odawahaka with a couple of clever sixth-grade girls. The school year starts with a bang when Maggie executes an elaborate hack—a grand but totally harmless prank, just like the kind her late father used to plan. When her new friend, Lena, finds out that Maggie is the one behind the pranks, she wants to join in the fun, too. And, much to the chagrin of the school’s strict new principal, the two lovable troublemakers begin to inspire their classmates.

I’ll admit that I was somewhat apprehensive about listening to a book about a couple of girls who cause trouble and break the rules with my impressionable five-year-old. In planning, setting up, and executing their hacks, the girls cause all kinds of trouble, breaking into the school, causing chaos, and stirring up dissention. Yet it’s so clever and playful—and the characters are so resourceful—that you can’t help but get caught up in the story.

Maggie is a likable character—a lonely kid who feels out of place in her tiny, backwoods town. But she’s smart and creative and capable of great things—something that she barely even realizes until she meets Lena, the mysterious (and mischievous) new girl in school. Together, they turn Maggie’s hacks into more than just a few silly pranks.

In the midst of all of the fun and excitement, there are some lessons to be learned, too—lessons that are just as important for grown-ups as they are for kids. Maggie learns more about her family—about her struggling single mom and her feisty, soda-swilling grandpa—and she discovers that it’s okay to let other people into the fortress she’s built around herself. With help from Lena, she also learns that she can make a difference. And something that starts out as a way to pass the time and connect to her father becomes something much bigger and more important.

Of course, after you kids listen to this playful adventure, you may need to keep an eye on them—because it could give them some troublesome ideas. But, in the process, it might also teach them about working together to take a stand for what’s important.

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