Junebug in Trouble

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It’s been several busy months since Junebug and his family moved away from their old housing project. Now Junebug is ecstatic about seeing his best friend Robert again at the beach on Labor Day weekend. But Robert’s with Trevor, another project pal, who happens to be a gang member with a gun. Junebug’s scared of Robert joining Trevor’s gang and wonders if he can stop him.

At home, Junebug thinks about the father he hardly knows. He has been in prison for over six years. Maybe he’s really innocent, but if not, will people think that Junebug will grow up to be like him?

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This book will ring true to many young readers and expose others to the challenges faced by children today. An excellent choice, particularly for reluctant readers. —School Library Journal
From Publishers Weekly

In Junebug in Trouble by Alice Mead, the third adventure about the 10-year-old hero, he meets up with Robert, an old friend from the housing project where Junebug and his family used to live. When he finds out Robert is running with a gang member, Junebug tries to help his friend get back on track. –Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grades 3-6–The engaging protagonist from two previous books grapples with some very difficult issues in this candid and involving novel. As fifth-grader Junebug tries (unsuccessfully) to build a relationship with his irresponsible father, who is in jail, he also deals with his friend Robert’s intentions to join a gang. Like many of the children in this book, Robert hopes to achieve a sense of belonging that his unstable home life cannot provide. A supportive network of realistically flawed adults, especially his loving mother, helps Junebug sort through a number of moral decisions about what friendship and loyalty entail, taking responsibility for one’s actions, and why lying is bad. The author sympathetically conveys the sense of hopelessness felt by some of the characters; no one is all bad or all good. Junebug is a winning narrator, sharing with readers his uncensored thoughts and feelings. This book will ring true to many young readers and expose others to the challenges faced by children today. An excellent choice, particularly for reluctant readers.–B. Allison Gray, South Country Library, Bellport, NY

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. The title says it all. Ten-year-old Reeve McLain Jr., aka Junebug, gets tangled up in just the sort of situation his mother was trying to avoid when she moved the family out of the projects in the novel Junebug (1995). His friend Robert, who still lives in the projects, tells Junebug he’s thinking about joining a gang like Trevor, an older boy who has a gun. Junebug is desperate to help his friend, who is clearly a neglected child, but at the same time he’s horrified by the way Robert shifts from the open, funny boy he used to be to a tough, angry young man. The criminal justice system is an important theme in the book: Junebug is with an older boy who is unfairly searched because he is black, he goes to visit his self-centered father in prison, and he winds up in court himself after a shooting. As in her previous novels, Mead writes of important subjects with tenderness, humanity, and realism, and she creates in Junebug a touching character with sensitivity and a loving heart. –Susan Dove Lempke

Each of my books about kids in other countries–Iran, the Balkans, Sudan–was created when I got to know kids from other cultures who finally had been resettled in my town of Portland, Maine. They are now American kids, my neighbors and yours, who came from poverty and war.

Read about other parts of the world and take a journey there through the eyes of other kids your age. Travel by stories!
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