Troublemaker by Andrew Clements

Title: Troublemaker
Author: Andrew Clements
Stand Alone
Format- Hardcover
Publisher- Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Published- July 26th, 2011
Pages- 160
Source- Library

Once a troublemaker, always a troublemaker?

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.

It's hard to believe that I've read and loved one of my top favorite books, A Week in the Woods, but I've never read any of Andrew Clements other books. I think it's because his books are plentiful with the signature image of a kid holding something for the reader to see. I guess I thought it would be generic and childish. I must be losing my mind. A Week in the Woods was hardly that and Troublemaker proved me all kinds of wrong. I have decided it's my mission to read as many Andrew Clements books I can get my hands on. It could even lead to him being one of my favorite authors. It only fits since he wrote one of my favorite books of all time.

Clay is a troublemaker and so is his older brother Mitchell who came back from serving time in jail. Mitchell doesn't want that for his brother so he makes him promise to turn a new leaf. Clay looks up to his big brother so he agrees. I feel like Clay and Mitchell have any obvious difference between them. Clay's troublemaking is doing silly things that may hurt others feelings but he never knows it. He just does things to be funny or get a rise out of people. He may draw a picture of the principal as a jackass and get in trouble for that. He loves drawing. I love how with this book and in Okay for Now the main character is perceived to be these bad, troubled kids but they are really great people who love to draw. Mitchell is more of the angry kid. His troubles revolve around fist fights. Clay may want to be like his older brother and make him proud of his shenanigans but he's never been that bad. Clay is a great kid who just doesn't understand that what he does sometimes can hurt other people's feelings.

Mitchell goes a little too far. After Clay promises him that he won't do anything wrong he makes him over in the most hilarious way. He looks all goody two shoes and his friends don't like the change. Still no one really trusts him. I loved how Clay's promise endured through almost everything. There was some seriousness to the story with cops and his brother formerly being in jail. Clay's a great kid and I enjoyed reading about him. We need more Clay's in the world. He deserved to be trusted and he will always be known as the character that kept me reading Andrew Clements.

To find more about Andrew Clements and his books go to:


  1. I've never heard of Andrew Clements before. I'm going to find some of his books the next time I'm at the library.

    1. Wait a minute. How is that even possible? He's a pretty famous author.

  2. Troublemaker sounds like an interesting read. I'm definitely going to buy this book. Great review, Adriana!

  3. This sounds like a great story! I have read most of Andrew Clements books and really enjoy them. I especially loved School Story, The Landry News, Frindle, and The Janitor's Boy. I also really liked A Week in the Woods. I have seen this book- but haven't read it yet. I will have to read it soon. Thanks for sharing.


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