cover image Asking for Trouble

Asking for Trouble

Sandra Byrd. Tyndale, $6.99 (261pp) ISBN 978-1-4143-2597-2

Minimal development of supporting characters and a lack of narrative tension mar Byrd’s (the Friends for a Season series) effort to chronicle a teenage girl’s maturation in her Christian faith. Fifteen-year-old Savvy—uprooted from friends, school, and church when her close-knit family moves from Seattle to London—struggles to adapt to British lingo and customs. Eager to establish a niche for herself, Savvy exaggerates her journalistic experience when applying for a coveted spot on the school newspaper. Throughout, Savvy’s moral conflicts resolve themselves quickly, as when she confesses her inexperience during her interview with no dire consequences. Family members provide unconditional love and support: the only familial tension revolves around Savvy’s sister’s dog and crusty “Aunt” Maude (their landlord), who, unsurprisingly, turns out to be a sweetheart. The family’s desire for a new church home is fulfilled on Christmas Eve. The story’s most poignant moments coincide with Savvy’s growing empathy with adults, as when she recognizes that her mother’s struggles to find friends mirror her own. The second book in the London Confidential series, Through Thick and Thin , is available simultaneously. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)