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Summary

In this dazzling debut, Carla Shalaby, a former elementary school teacher, explores the everyday lives of four young "troublemakers", challenging the ways we identify and understand so-called problem children. Time and again, we make seemingly endless efforts to moderate, punish, and even medicate our children, when we should instead be concerned with transforming the very nature of our institutions, systems, and structures, large and small. Through delicately crafted portraits of these memorable children - Zora, Lucas, Sean, and Marcus - Troublemakers allows us to see school through the eyes of those who know firsthand what it means to be labeled a problem.

From Zora's proud individuality to Marcus's open willfulness, from Sean's struggle with authority to Lucas's tenacious imagination, comes profound insight - for educators and parents alike - into how schools engender, exclude, and then try to erase trouble, right along with the young people accused of making it. And although the harsh disciplining of adolescent behavior has been called out as part of a school-to-prison pipeline, the children we meet in this book demonstrate how a child's path to excessive punishment and exclusion in fact begins at a much younger age.

Shalaby's empathetic, discerning, and elegant prose gives us a deeply textured look at what noncompliance signals about the environments we require students to adapt to in our schools. Both urgent and timely, this paradigm-shifting book challenges our typical expectations for young children and with principled affection reveals how these demands - despite good intentions - work to undermine the pursuit of a free and just society.

©2017 Carla Shalaby (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-07-18

Interesting and disturbing

As a teacher in middle school I can totally relate to the troublemakers. I loved the way the author reframed the children’s behaviors. School will start soon. I will look at the troublemakers differently and vow never to send a student out of the room to “reflect”. I’m rethinking the class expectations that I’m told to post on my wall for all to see...a good and necessary read. Thanks.

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  • Karen L. Rush
  • 12-09-19

Life Changing

Finally a book that agrees with the Philosphy of the same curriculum which I teach and love. Every teacher should listen or read this book, esp if you teach any Brown or Black Children. Teachers are life long learners and we can learn a lot from the so called "Troublemakers" in your classrooms.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-11-21

Inspiring

Every teacher, educator, parent, counselor, & social worker should read this book!! Listen to what students are saying even when no words and only "disruptive" behavior or language is exhibited. Schools and school culture needs a revolutionary change to serve all students.

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  • Melissa Lambie
  • 03-08-21

Must read for every educator

Carla Shalaby’s careful study of some young children that early in their school career are labeled as “troublemakers” should be a must-read for every educator. While I didn’t always agree with the author’s point of view on some matters, I valued listening to them and used her ideas and theories to reflect on my own beliefs about the public school systems in our nation. It feels like our society is becoming more and more intolerant of people with a different opinion than our own. I personally am trying hard not to do that, so I value what Ms. Shalaby had to say, especially because of her compassion and empathy towards marginalized groups.

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  • Katie Lewis
  • 03-02-21

Enlightening book

This book gave me new lenses to use when looking at student behavior. A must read for educators.

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  • Lisa Wakefield
  • 24-12-19

I wish this was required reading for all educators

Super important ideas that need to be shared and considered and acted upon. I really enjoyed this book.

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  • L. Currey
  • 23-01-19

Game changing book

I wish this book had been published when I began my teaching career twenty years ago. Carla Shalaby watches out of the box children in both home and school settings and helps us understand how our typical idea of the well-behaved student excludes many others. An eye-opening read for parents and educators.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-12-18

It’s not the book, it’s the voice

Voice sounds like a robot. Extremely grating. I am disappointed because I can’t listen to her.

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  • LH
  • 19-09-18

Be Love

This book is a must read for ALL educators! It is extremely thought provoking! The author shares revolutionary views of education!!!

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  • C. Ramirez-Rodriguez
  • 06-11-17

read it! so inspiring and super real!

it was great! loved it, cried for the kids and felt the frustrating aspects of school with them