Nothing But Trouble
by Jacqueline Davies

Overview -

From the acclaimed author of The Lemonade War comes a new book starring two smart girls determined to liven up their town--one epic prank at a time.

Odawahaka has always been too small for Maggie's big scientific ideas.  Read more...

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More About Nothing But Trouble by Jacqueline Davies

From the acclaimed author of The Lemonade War comes a new book starring two smart girls determined to liven up their town--one epic prank at a time.

Odawahaka has always been too small for Maggie's big scientific ideas. Between her stuck-in-a-rut mom, her grumpy grandpop, and the lifetime supply of sludgy soda in the fridge, it's hard for Maggie to imagine a change.

But when Lena moves in with her creative spirit and outrageous perspective, middle school takes off with a bang. Someone starts pulling the kind of pranks that send their rule-loving new principal into an uproar--complete with purple puffs of smoke, parachuting mice, and a scavenger hunt that leads to secret passageways. Suddenly the same-old football games, election for class president, and embarrassing stories feel almost exciting. And for the first time in her life, Maggie begins to wonder if there might be more to Odawahaka than she ever saw coming

Humorous, smart, and full of small-town heart, Nothing But Trouble will have mischief-loving readers caught up in the cleverness and determination of two girls who can't be held down.

  • ISBN-13: 9780062369888
  • ISBN-10: 0062369881
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • Publish Date: November 2016
  • Page Count: 320
  • Reading Level: Ages 8-12
  • Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds

Series: Nothing But Trouble #1

Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Humorous Stories
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Friendship
Books > Juvenile Fiction > School & Education

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-09-19
  • Reviewer: Staff

Davies (The Lemonade War) begins a new series with a dynamic novel featuring a pair of resourceful pranksters, sixth-graders Maggie and Lena. Maggie never knew her father, who died before she was born, but she has inherited his gift for hacking (Hacking means pulling off a prank with style, she explains) and uses his Hackers Bible as a guide. Once she joins forces with Dada-loving new student Lena, theres no stopping the girls from livening up their dismal middle school with playful surprises for classmates, much to the principals dismay. After secretly selling Maggies grandfathers old auto parts to fund their missions, the two create tiny explosions in the gym, hang banners in precarious places, and inflate a gigantic mouse on the football field. The storys high entertainment value is balanced by more serious moments when the girls reflect on tricks that backfired or cope with family problems (Maggies mother develops a drinking problem; Lena wishes her artist mother was home more often). As Davies highlights individualism and friendship, she leaves the door wide open for future adventures at Odawahaka Middle School. Ages 812. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Nov.)

BookPage Reviews

Master of pranks

Sixth-grader Maggie Gallagher is a hacker, but not with computers. She takes after her late father, who went to MIT, where he learned to “hack”—to pull wildly elaborate practical jokes. Stuck in the stagnant small town of Odawahaka, Maggie imagines conversations with him while living and breathing by his notebook, The Hacker’s Bible. She adores explosions, but she abides by her father’s rules to be safe and not destroy other people’s property. 

Not surprisingly, Maggie is Nothing but Trouble, especially after she teams up with a new girl in town named Lena. Their dilapidated school is about to be demolished, so the pair concoct a scheme to have a mascot mouse be elected class president, in honor of the fabled mice that live within the school’s walls. 

This is indeed the story of a mouse that roared, as what begins as a prank turns into a movement, empowering not only Maggie and Lena but all of their classmates to stand up against the dictatorial new principal, Mr. Shute. The girls find a surprising ally in their homeroom teacher, Mrs. Dorn-busch, the school’s oldest and most feared teacher, also known as the Dungeon Dragon.

While comical, the novel extols some high concepts. Lena is a fan of the Dadaist art movement (mentioned and explained throughout), and there’s an entertaining physics-based activity section at the book’s end related to hacking. Both at school and at home, Maggie learns to delve deeper into relationships, especially with her wheelchair-bound grandfather and still-grieving mother, who struggles with alcohol. Author Jacqueline Davies (The Lemonade War series) also leaves readers with a teaser in this first book of a new series, as Lena promises to explain some of her family’s “oddities” in the near future.

Filled with heart, humor and plenty of practical jokes, Nothing but Trouble portrays an improbable but poignant middle school world. Sometimes getting in trouble is worth it, Lena and Maggie learn, and middle school readers will enjoy their rollicking journey.


This article was originally published in the November 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews