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In Trouble (Carolrhoda Lab) Hardcover – September 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Carolrhoda Lab
  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761365583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761365587
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,055,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ellen Levine is the author of many books, including Henry's Freedom Box, a Caldecott Honor book, and Darkness Over Denmark, which was a National Jewish Book Award finalist and was awarded the Trudi Birger Jerusalem International Book Fair Prize. Her book Freedom's Children won the Jane Addams book award and was named one of the Ten Best Children's Books of the Year by the New York Times. Levine is a woodcarver and a lapsed civil-rights lawyer, and she taught at Vermont College's Master of Fine Art in Writing for Children and Young Adults program.

More About the Author

Ellen Levine has always been drawn to stories of people who struggled for justice, and of ordinary people who did extraordinary things. She was fascinated by Henry "Box" Brown, whose escape is recounted in The Underground Railroad by William Still, first published in 1872. Ms. Levine was awed by Henry's ingenious idea and moved by his incredible courage. Among the author's award-winning books are Freedom's Children, winner of the Jane Addams Peace Award and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Darkness Over Denmark, a Jame Addams Peace Award Honor Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives in New York City and Salem, New York.

Customer Reviews

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This is a very powerful novel and I recommend it to all ages.
A Book Vacation
Even with such a hard topic, Ellen Levine manages to bring out hope, to show the strength of her characters, and to relate to the modern reader.
E. Kristin Anderson
Some spoilers although I don't think knowing them will ruin your enjoyment.
bookworm1858

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Tanenbaum VINE VOICE on January 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Abortion is a topic few YA authors dare to broach in their books, and this reality alone would be enough reason for me to applaud award-winning author Ellen Levine's 2011 young adult novel In Trouble. But the book has plenty of merit as an unsentimental look at the hard choices (or lack thereof) teens confronted when they became pregnant in the 1950's.

The film noir style cover, portraying a lonely teenaged girl waiting late at night on a deserted street, sets the stage for this dark novel set in 1956 New York, when choices for young girls who got themselves "in trouble" were limited indeed. The author tells the story of best friends Jamie and Elaine, who both find themselves with unwanted pregnancies while in high school. However, the pregnancies are ultimately dealt with in very different ways, with a sensitive portrayal of how two different families dealt with this difficult situation.
Note: some spoilers....

Elaine has a steady boyfriend already in college, and is sure that he will marry her when she tells him about the pregnancy. Jamie's circumstances, on the other hand, are slowly unveiled by the author through a series of nightmares as the reader realizes that she was date-raped by a friend of her sophisticated Manhattan cousin. Jamie's family is already under plenty of stress, since her dad has just been released from prison, having been convicted for refusing to answer questions during the McCarthy hearings. But when they discover her circumstances, her family steps up, even helping her find a doctor who will do an abortion, despite abortions being illegal at the time. Elaine, on the other hand, is sent to a home for unwed Catholic girls, where she is pressured to give up her baby for adoption despite her wishes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Kristin Anderson on December 23, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
We've seen a lot of YA novels tackle the topic of teen pregnancy, but IN TROUBLE by Ellen Levine is the first one I've read to look at girls "in trouble" from this angle. Taking place in the 1950s, IN TROUBLE is the story of a teen girl who's best friend has recently moved away. Jamie misses Elaine dearly, and they keep in touch through letters -- letters in which Elaine is constantly singing the praises of her college boyfriend. But when the unthinkable happens, and Elaine becomes pregnant, even Jamie can't help her. She tries -- talking to her aunt, her cousin, trying to convince Elaine that there are options out there other than being locked away in a Catholic home for girls where they will force her to give up her baby.

But the thing is, Jamie has her own trouble. Trouble she can't tell her mom or her grandmother, or even her friend Paul. And it isn't until she confronts what happened to her on that night -- a night that she is trying so hard to forget -- that she will be able to help herself.

I loved every moment I spent with IN TROUBLE. The voice is distinct, and the 1950s New York setting is perfectly painted. Even with such a hard topic, Ellen Levine manages to bring out hope, to show the strength of her characters, and to relate to the modern reader. This is absolutely a read that I'll be recommending to anyone who will listen, and a story that both historical fiction buffs and contemporary fiction lovers will enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover
Georgina had taken over Elaine's best friend status with Jamie since she'd moved away a year ago, but they were still really close. Stevie, Jaime's pain-in-the-neck little brother handed her a letter. It was an urgent request from Elaine Reilly telling her to call. It had to be about that college boyfriend of hers, Neil. It was and she wanted Jamie to call her. Elaine wanted to sneak off with him again and needed Jamie to lie for her and claim she was staying at her house. Lie, lies, and more lies. Jamie could understand why she was lying to her parents, but couldn't understand why on earth Elaine was in love with Neil. It all spelled trouble with a capital T. Sometimes life seemed to constantly filled with high drama and Jamie's was no exception.

Jamie's father, Pete Morse, used to teach math, but he'd recently gotten home after a stint in prison. McCarthy had "labeled him a Communist," and when the news first came out in the "New York Times" Jamie wanted to hide under a rock. It was 1956 and hopefully things would be easier this year than the last. No more Contempt of Congress, just being a sixteen-year-old dreaming of her future would suffice. The girls talked about "it" at school. Carol said her sister told her "that they pull out." Everyone said there were loose girls and Kay said that "Herbie says the boys know who the easy girls are, but he won't say who." Jamie was worried because Elaine wasn't that kind of girl, but she was obsessed with Neil. When they talked about it at the Automat in Manhattan, Elaine was talking love and marriage, not reality. Neil was a loser.

Jamie was much too interested in working on the school newspaper to bother with boys, but maybe someday. Paul, the editor of the paper did like her, but he was just a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donna C on December 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Carolrhoda Lab does it again with another gripping story that I get to gush about. Although I will say this is probably my least favorite out of the CL books I've read. I still think very highly of it but I do feel it was lacking something that the other CL books had, mainly depth.

The situation that Jamie and Elaine go through is terrifying. Hell, it's terrifying now, let alone 60 years ago where you were either biblically virginal or a whore, irrespective of what happened to you to get into that "in trouble" position. Elaine's problem was really front and center and while it pulled me in, it also pushed me away from Jamie a bit, and it was her story. So a bit of a flaw in the story-telling. You could really feel for Elaine through Jamie. You could feel her impossible situation but at the same time you could feel Jamie's helplessness when it came to helping her friend. Elaine was a bit lost when it came to the other half of the problem and I know I got frustrated right along with Jamie when Elaine just couldn't see the forest for the trees.

And then things start opening up about Jamie. The little flashes seen throughout the story come to light and things start to click into place. That horror that was projected onto Elaine comes right back around to Jamie. Her situation's different, though. Jamie had more support and options. But here's where I think the story starts to fizzle, when it really gets into Jamie's problem.

Jamie attempts to terminate her problem on her own which results in some terrible moments in the story and I will say I had some tears but the story reached a point where it just zoomed by and before I knew it it was over. It left me wanting more and I think considering the situation of the plot, it would have rendered that.
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