Plot/Idea: Little Mountain, Big Trouble sheds a positive light on the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, while offering plenty of adventure and peril at the same time. The ending will warm hearts, as will the story's relatable characters and relevant situations that are perfect for middle grade readers.
Prose: Norbury captures tension exceptionally well, and the crisp prose sparkles with just the right intensity.
Originality: The novel's spotlight on mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters make it stand out among others, and Norbury's obvious experience with the organization lends the story authenticity.
Character/Execution: EJ is determined and gains confidence throughout the story, even when it seems the odds are stacked against him. He is a likable character who knows where to turn for help, and middle grade readers will easily relate to his situation.
Date Submitted: August 09, 2023
Little Mountain, Big Trouble deftly handles some tough topics for this age group and provides an encouraging storyline for kids who do not have a picture-perfect home life. In a well-written tale, Norbury creates likable and kind characters in both EJ and his “Big Brother,” Russ, as they forge a friendship and work toward the goal of climbing Minnesota’s tallest mountain. But things don’t go as planned, and the story shifts into a suspenseful survival tale that will keep readers rapidly turning the page. I love a book that helps kids see that they’re not alone in the world when the adults they should be counting on fail them. This would be a great shared read for adults and the younger readers in their lives.