Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Troublemakers

Monster - (ISBN: 978-0064407311)

by Walter Dean Myers

Is Steve really a bad guy? The prosecutor calls him a monster, but he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time as a lookout for a bank heist. After someone dies in the robbery attempt, Steve finds himself in prison. As he tells his story in movie-like scenarios, you may find him to be a sympathetic character. Does his exposure to the violence of the adult world in prison cancel his humanity?

OCD, The Dude, and Me - (ISBN: 978-0803738430)

by Lauren Vaughn

Social misfit Danielle’s disrespectful essays, which reflect her sardonic view of life, result in compulsory visits to the campus psychologist at her alternative high school. There she meets another pariah who widens the cracks in her hardened exterior. After the two of them find commonality in their alienation from most of the normal teen world, they begin to form an unusual friendship. Can you relate to either of these teens?

The Almost Truth - (ISBN: Eileen Cook)

by Eileen Cook

A troubled teen finds herself double-crossed by fate after she decides to pose as a missing child, whom she resembles. As more facts reveal themselves to her, she starts to wonder if she is, in fact, the one who had disappeared. What are the clues she notices when she starts doubting her identity?

The Devil’s Storybooks - (ISBN: 978-0312641580)

by Natalie Babbitt

These twenty short tales explore the different faces of the “devilish” character as he makes himself known in different situations wherever human failings occur. After you read these, you will ask yourself if someone’s mischievousness is powered secretly by the Devil himself!

The Pigman - (ISBN: 978-0062272447)

by Paul Zindel

After John and Lorraine prank call an elderly gentleman, his kindness and humanity changes their disillusionment to a fresh look at friendship and human responsibility. Have you ever participated in a mild act of mischief, only to find its effects on others is quite a bit larger than you expected?

Big Sixteen - (ISBN: 978-0688023508)

by Mary Calhoun

Furious - (ISBN: 978-0805082838)

by Jill Wolfson

Scrawl - (ISBN: 978-1250012692)

by Mark Shulman

The Book Thief - (ISBN: 978-0375842207)

by Markus Zusak

The Lord of the Flies - (ISBN: 978-0399501487)

by William Golding

To Be Perfectly Honest - (ISBN: 978-0689876042)

by Sonya Sones

Activities for this Theme

Try writing a journal of your own, including your slightly troublemaking activities. Use an online resource like Penzu to keep your ideas and reflections private.

If you enjoyed The Pigman, learn more about the author, the book’s history, and its location by choosing from these free study and activity guides.

View a video on how Lord of the Flies can be viewed as Social Allegory