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Overview

Andrew Clements?s latest novel, about mentors, role models, and choosing friends, examines the fine line between good-humored mischief and dangerous behavior?and how everyday choices can close or open doors.

There?s a folder in Principal Kelling?s office that?s as thick as a phonebook and it?s growing daily. It?s filled with the incident reports of every time Clayton Hensley broke the rules. There?s the minor stuff like running in the hallways...
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Troublemaker

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Overview

Andrew Clements’s latest novel, about mentors, role models, and choosing friends, examines the fine line between good-humored mischief and dangerous behavior—and how everyday choices can close or open doors.

There’s a folder in Principal Kelling’s office that’s as thick as a phonebook and it’s growing daily. It’s filled with the incident reports of every time Clayton Hensley broke the rules. There’s the minor stuff like running in the hallways and not being where he was suppose to be when he was supposed to be there. But then there are also reports that show Clay’s own brand of troublemaking, like the most recent addition: the art teacher has said that the class should spend the period drawing anything they want and Clay decides to be extra “creative” and draw a spot-on portrait of Principal Kellings…as a donkey.

It’s a pretty funny joke, but really, Clay is coming to realize that the biggest joke of all may be on him. When his big brother, Mitchell, gets in some serious trouble, Clay decides to change his own mischief making ways…but he can’t seem to shake his reputation as a troublemaker.

From the master of the school story comes a book about the fine line between good-humored mischief and dangerous behavior and how everyday choices can close or open doors.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

With his mischievous pranks, Clayton Hensley has established a school-wide reputation as an incorrigible troublemaker. Until now, those adolescent acts of rebellion haven't caused him major damage, but that's about to change. After his older brother Mitchell gets in real trouble, Clayton decides to reform, but he discovers that his bad body notoriety makes that nearly impossible. A fascinating novel by an Edgar Award winner about how misbehavior leaves its mark. For readers eight to 12.

A. J. Jacobs
Clements once again proves he can pull off writing about middle schoolers' emotions without being cartoonish or cloying. Frindle is still my favorite, but this is a worthy addition to the Clements canon.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Clements (Extra Credit) delivers another rock-solid school story that will resonate with middle graders. Like his older brother, Mitch, sixth-grader Clay is habitually in trouble, and he can't wait to tell Mitch about his latest coup—a realistic portrait of Principal Kelling as a donkey. But his 19-year-old brother, who's just finished a 30-day jail sentence after losing his temper in court, is not amused, and he orders Clay to straighten out ("You're gonna do all the stuff that I never did—and do things right, the smart way"). Clay promises to do so, but learns that his well-established reputation is hard to shake, backsliding is easy, and taking his life in a new direction might mean leaving old friends behind—or being pranked himself. Though the story is largely Clay's, Clements offers the perspectives of other characters, demonstrating how Clay's tussles with his conscience have an impact on the environment around him. Clements's empathy for Clay is clear—he's not a bad kid, just someone whose mischievous tendencies have always been encouraged. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (July)
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Clayton Hensley wants to be exactly like his older brother, who just got out of jail for wielding his own brand of trouble. When he uses his free art period to draw the principal as a donkey, he makes sure he's the talk of the school, showing off on the way to the office. But, when Clay reveals the drawing to Mitch, he's in for a surprise. Not only is his brother not proud, but he's also disappointed. Mitch wants Clay to turn his life around. The problem is, Clay isn't sure he can do it, or if he even wants to. Being good isn't any fun at all. Or is it? Clements forms interesting parallels between choice, habit, and repute, asking the questions: Can people change their reputations? And, is having fun at the expense of someone else really fun? Occasional pencil drawings of Clay's antics highlight the best parts of the story. Clay will encourage kids who want to forge a new path, placing their own brand on doing the right thing. An inspiring and comical read.—Terry Ann Lawler, Phoenix Public Library, AZ
From the Publisher
"Clements is a genius of gentle, high-concept tales set in suburban middle schools."—The New York Times

"Another rock-solid school story that will resonate with middle graders."—Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Carly Reagan
Clay Hensley is a talented, bright, and determined sixth grade boy. The only problem is that he's also a grade-A troublemaker. For years he worked on developing his reputation as someone who wasn't afraid of authority, and who could successfully prank even the principal of the school. He even loved to report all his misdeeds to his big brother, Mitch, who would cheer him on; but all that changes when Mitch goes to jail for one of his own challenges to authority. When his big brother comes back home, he is no longer impressed by Clay's mischief. After promising Mitch that he'll change his ways. Clay finds out that undoing six years of trouble might be harder than he thought, but learns a few things about understanding others along the way. A well done school story on the popular topic of the "class clown," Clements quickly and clearly defines his characters and keeps the chapters short for quick reading and steady story development. Specifically modern language is used sparingly, helping the characters seem real, while not going overboard. Pencil shaded illustrations accompany almost every chapter, and though well done, do not seem particularly necessary for a child with his or her own imagination. Great for reading aloud in a classroom, or for the rambunctious child to read on his own, seeing how interesting school can be, even outside of the principal's office. Reviewer: Carly Reagan
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Clay Hensley goofs off and plays tricks on other students, making it difficult for teachers to appreciate him. While he's not a bully, he's definitely trouble. As he looks forward to seeing Mitch, his much-admired big brother who has just been released from jail, Clay piles on the antics in order to impress him. But Mitch has changed during his time in prison, and he tells Clay to go straight—no goofing off, no teasing, respect teachers and authority, and clean up his act both physically and metaphorically. Clay sets out to follow his brother's advice, but his partners in crime don't understand their pal's drastic changes and the adults around him are skeptical. When someone plays a malicious Halloween prank on the school principal, Clay's reputation makes him the first suspect. Changing other people's perceptions of him is a challenge for the well-intentioned boy. Andrew Clements's novel (S & S/Atheneum, 2011) accurately presents these issues. Keith Nobbs's narration is excellent. He uses the perfect pitch and rhythm to voice Clay as well as the more mature Mitch. Recommend this audiobook to kids who have been the focus of teasing or are pranksters.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Branch Library, Santa Barbara, CA
Kirkus Reviews

Clay learns that it's easy to get into trouble but far more difficult to get out of it in this breezy Scared Straight–type novel for the elementary-school set.

Clay has finesse. He can create mischief with such cheerful aplomb that he can charm even the principal's assistant, who has been documenting Clay's misdeeds since kindergarten. A clever boy and a talented artist, Clay is bursting with enthusiasm for his pranks. Clay loves and emulates his older brother, Mitch, who was the pre-eminent troublemaker before him. However, Mitch, unlike Clay, has taken his misdeeds to a level of aggression that fun-loving Clay does not. The day Mitch is to come home from prison, Clay undertakes a master antic to impress him and is devastated when Mitch slaps him and demands that he shape up or else end up like himself. Thus begins a makeover, as Mitch gets Clay a new wardrobe and stipulates new rules by which to live. Clay is certain that he looks like Mr. Potato Head with his new haircut, but he's dedicated to pleasing his brother. School provides terrific opportunities for mischief that Clay finds hard to resist, especially the launchable lunch food. But the hardest part of this new life is the rift growing between him and his best buddy, co-trickster Hank. Clements here enters into provocative territory and pulls it off like the pro he is. Kids will easily relate to Clay, and the secondary characters come alive as well.

With easygoing prose enhanced by occasional sketches, this slender school story does its job with no trouble at all.(Fiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442462076
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 106,609
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • File size: 14 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he has been nominated for a multitude of state awards, including two Christopher Awards and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He is also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. He lives with his wife in Maine and has four grown children. Visit him at AndrewClements.com.
Mark Elliott has a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts. He has illustrated a number of book covers, and his work has been exhibited at the Society of Illustrators and the Art Directors Guild. Mark lives on a sheep farm in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
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Read an Excerpt

Troublemaker


  • Clay Hensley frowned at the paper on the table. It wasn’t a very good drawing. He’d made tons of better ones . . . like that picture he’d made of the old man sitting on the bridge? Now, that was good—even won a prize. This drawing? It was okay, just a simple portrait. It wasn’t going to win any prizes—but then, it wasn’t supposed to. It was supposed to do something else. Soon.

Out of the corner of his eye Clay saw Mr. Dash get up from his desk. The class period was almost over, so the art teacher was beginning his inspections, same as always.

Clay squinted and kept working on the portrait, shading a little here, erasing a little there, trying to get the expression on the face just right—actually, trying to get the whole head to look right. It wasn’t easy.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Heeeeeeee heeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Funny book laughed my head of!!!!!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    Awesome

    This book is so cool
    It is so suspenful
    Very cool
    A must have

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    This book....

    LOOKS FUN!!!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    amazing

    I loved this book do much! I really reccomend it.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    BOOK

    I LOVE THIS BOOK ITS THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2012

    grear

    Grear book. All andrew clements books are.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Good

    Funny

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Haylee L. Baker

    Everybody makes mistakes and now Clay is starting to relise that.....i really like this book.....i really like andrew clemets he is my favorit author!!!!! :)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Awsome

    This book is perfect for young readers to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Awsome

    This book is so awsome

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    Author, Please read this

    Andrew, you are the best author ever. I highly suggest this to everyone. I love your books :) From Hayden

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2013

    RED THIS REVIEW? READ THIS REVIEW

    i love it when he draws the pictur of the principal as a donkey!!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Love it!!!!!!

    Totaly cool

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

    November 14, 2012

    Im in love with Andrew Clements books!!!!!!
    ALMOST read the whole series!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    That book was the funiest book ever!!!! I lafted my butt off.

    Awsome book amazing!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    It made it on my school book order form

    I heard its AWESOME

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    :)

    Very good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    The best

    I love all of andrew clements books

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    Trouble maker

    The best book ever!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Awesome!

    It was a really good book and i love andrew clements i hope you will enjoy it!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews

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