Too Much Trouble – Tom Avery

“Get out, Emmanuel!” growled my uncle. “Take your brother and go.” But where can two
boys go when they’re on their own, on the run, with little money or food? All 12-year-old
Emmanuel knows is that he has to look after Prince. They were his father’s last words to
him. On the train to London, Em and Prince have no idea where they will end up – but
then they meet the mysterious Mr Green and his “friends”. And that’s when things start
to spin out of control…

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37 thoughts on “Too Much Trouble – Tom Avery

  1. When Emmanuel and his brother Prince get kicked out of the place they’re staying, they don’t know where to turn – at least, not until mysterious Mr Green comes along. He seems like a nice guy… but can they really trust him and what exactly is he up to?
    I enjoyed this book because we should know that things like this are happening and the characters were believable. I knew enough about them to really care what happened to them. The events of the story changed the way they behaved but their personalities stayed the same and I think that is realistic.
    The plot was great. It has parts that excite you, parts that shock you and the ending is just what you want. All the loose ends get tied up and that was very satisfying. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.

  2. I really enjoyed this book. It tells about the hardship of two young boys, Emmanuel and Prince. They lived in Africa with their parents for about four happy years but then things started to go wrong. For a few months they didn’t go to school or town and then their parents decided to send them to the safety of their uncle’s home in England but they didn’t understand why.

    In England, however, their uncle has reasons for not wanting them around and they have to look after themselves on a monthly allowance. When Prince draws attention to their situation inadvertently, their uncle throws them out.

    Low on food and money, they head for London where Emmanuel tries to steal a wallet. A complete stranger smoothes things over then takes the brothers home and introduces them to his gang of pickpockets, all homeless children like them. This is the start of a life of thieving, drug dealing and danger like a modern version of Oliver Twist.

    Fast paced, well written and shocking at times, this was a really great story.

  3. This book is something else! It’s about Em and Prince, two brothers who were sent from Africa to start a new life in England with their uncle. This uncle, however, makes them live in an abandoned house and gives them a monthly allowance. When Prince mentions to a friend at school that he may be related to a terrorist, the uncle throws them out.
    They take a train to London and, desperate for money, Em tries to steal a wallet. He’s caught but a mysterious Mr Green smoothes things over then takes the boys to a house full of children. The boys soon find that they have to work for their keep and they become pickpockets. Em makes friends with a quiet girl in the gang called Terri who loves reading.
    Eventually, one of the gang gets caught. Will he tell the police about their Oliver Twist life or will he keep his mouth shut?
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think it’s a story that should be told. Em has a tough and courageous outer shell but is gentle and easily hurt on the inside. I really believed in him.

    This book caught at my heart and held on to the very end.

  4. Wow! Thank you so much for your comments Natalie, Caitlin and Rachael. I’m so pleased that you all enjoyed it so much. Really hope you like the sequel too, although you’ll have to wait till 2013 for ‘In Too Deep’.
    All the best,
    Tom Avery

  5. Pingback: New Reviews for Too Much Trouble « Too Much Avery

  6. Too Much Trouble by Tom Avery – A Review by Caitlin Colebeck, Year 7

    I really enjoyed this book. It tells about the hardship of two young boys, Emmanuel and Prince. They lived in Africa with their parents for about four happy years but then things started to go wrong. For a few months they didn’t go to school or town and then their parents decided to send them to the safety of their uncle’s home in England but they didn’t understand why.

    In England, however, their uncle has reasons for not wanting them around and they have to look after themselves on a monthly allowance. When Prince draws attention to their situation inadvertently, their uncle throws them out.

    Low on food and money, they head for London where Emmanuel tries to steal a wallet. A complete stranger smoothes things over then takes the brothers home and introduces them to his gang of pickpockets, all homeless children like them. This is the start of a life of thieving, drug dealing and danger like a modern version of Oliver Twist.

    Fast paced, well written and shocking at times, this was a really great story.

  7. The plot was great. It has parts that excite you, parts that shock you and the ending is just what you want. All the loose ends get tied up and that was very satisfying.

  8. “Get out, Emmanuel!” growled my uncle. “Take your brother and go.” But where can two boys go when they’re on their own, on the run, with little money or food? All 12-year-old Emmanuel knows is that he has to look after Prince. They were his father’s last words to him. On the train to London, Em and Prince have no idea where they will end up – but then they meet the mysterious Mr Green and his “friends”. And that’s when things start to spin out of control…
    This book was the best book I have ever read, the part where they read Oliver Twist and it relates to the story is really good

  9. I found the rapid changes of scene inside each chapter rather irritating and hard to keep up with.

    We’ve been having a big discussion about whether Terri’s death was necessary. I think it was because none of the things that happened afterwards would have happened if she hadn’t died.

  10. I agree. Emmanuel thought a lot of Terri. He had no reason to stay after she died. He hated Mr Green and was frightened for Prince.

  11. I don’t think Terri needed to die. Emmanuel had already decided that he must get Prince away from Mr Green‘s influence and was just looking for an opportunity.

  12. I don’t think anyone needed to die. I was shocked when Terri died so violently. Terri was abused at home, exploited in the gang and then shot dead in someone else’s argument. Finish. It was pointless and I was quite angry.

  13. I think someone had to die to make Emmanuel leave but it could equally well have been Jamal. I don’t think it should have been Terri but I suppose it makes it more shocking.

  14. In real life, the wrong people do die so I suppose killing off Terri made the story more realistic.

  15. I really liked this book and it kept me intrigued for days! By Maryam

    I thought this book was exciting and adventurous. I loved that it was a modern day take on Oliver Twist. It was a good page-turner. Overall I think this is a brilliant book. By Zoe

    I think Too Much Trouble is very exciting and dangerous. By Ella

  16. This book was short and easy to read. It’s about two brothers, Em and Prince, who have been brought illegally to England to escape war in Africa. However, once in England, their lives go very wrong…
    Things begin to go wrong when their uncle, who is supposed to look after them, throws them out. Needing food, Em tries to steal a wallet but this goes wrong too. Then a Mr Green appears and smoothes things over, or that’s what it seems, but he doesn’t turn out as nice as they’d thought. The trouble keeps on building throughout the story but the climax comes before the end, which was a little disappointing.
    Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was easy to believe that the narrator was twelve years old and the direct style kept me wanting to read on.
    The ending disappointed me because it’s so predictable although, having discussed it in Book Club, I’m not sure if it could have ended differently. Em was asked to write his story so I suppose it had to finish with where he is now. I’m glad their ending was happy because they deserved it but we did wonder if the brothers could have settled into foster homes after all that had happened.

  17. I hated the start of this book so I found it hard to keep interested.

    However, by the time I was between a quarter and half way through, I really started to enjoy it and thought it sounded like Oliver Twist.

    I liked the way it was written with short chapters chopped up into chunks of action. I presume the author did this to make it more dramatic. It worked and it kept me reading. One night whilst sitting on the sofa reading it, I told my mum I’d go to bed as soon as I’d finished the page… but I was enjoying it so much I had to keep on reading. I eventually finished the book and went to bed at 11 o’ clock!

    I think Prince’s disloyal behaviour towards Emmanuel was realistic because he was younger and enjoyed being thought cool by everyone else. He only understood much later – when they were in different foster homes – that he had hurt his brother’s feelings.

    This was a really good book!

  18. I enjoyed reading this powerful and moving book called Too Much Trouble. It is based on two young boys called Emmanuel and Prince who have to struggle for their survival. As soon as I had read the first couple of pages the characters sprang to life and I believed in them both. The plot was well thought through and the loose ends were all pleasantly tied up at the end. Overall I really enjoyed this brilliant book and would recommend it to anyone.

  19. Too Much Trouble is supposed to be a modern day version of Oliver Twist. Emmanuel and his brother Prince are on the run. When they meet up with Mr Green they think their lives will change, but will they? And how will they stay together?
    The book was okay. It was well written but in some places was slow and didn’t make me want to read on so much. In my opinion it didn’t remind me of Oliver Twist. The book gave you enough space for you to imagine. Still it could have used a bit more detail and information to know what was actually happening. I thought the characters were great and I liked the way that the story kept flicking between the two tenses throughout the book.
    Overall the story was good even though a little slow in places. I would recommend it to friends as it was well written but wasn’t the theme that it was trying to represent. I would rate it 6 out of 10

  20. I loved this book because it had so much action and thriller in it and it was very exciting.
    By Sidra

  21. I enjoyed this book because it was easy to understand. I was a bit disappointed about the end which I thought should have been a big climax and I would have liked a bigger argument over the gun. The characters and settings weren’t described much but this made the novel a quick read which fitted with the subject.

  22. I am only half way through this book so far but I love this book, read it, it is very good!

  23. I really enjoyed Too Much Trouble a lot and loved its sense of adventure and sadness. You feel sorry for Emmanuel and his brother and this book makes you feel like you are there with Prince and his friends.
    By Alex

  24. Too Much Trouble was the quickest book out of the five to read but what it lacked in length it made up for in story value. It was very fast moving and kept me gripped all the way through. At times, I felt that it jumped a bit quickly from place to place but most of the time it flowed well.
    Emmanuel won me over straight away with his honesty and blunt narration. There were places in the book when I was close to tears, which I think shows how well written it was. Part of the plot mirrored the story of Oliver Twist and was a very interesting modern portrayal.
    By the end, I was amazed at how much had been packed into such a short book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  25. Too Much Trouble is a modernised Dickens-style novel about two brothers: Emmanuel, the main character and Prince, an agile little boy who becomes a skilful pickpocket. This is Oliver Twist in a more readable form.

  26. I thought Mr Green and Emmanuel were great characters. I liked Emmanuel for his determination to look after Prince even when Prince didn’t have much time for him. 8/10

  27. I loved the modern setting for Oliver Twist. The writing style is blunt and Emmanuel, the main character, narrates the story honestly. I like the way Prince changes during the story from a naïve, dependent little brother at the start to a cocky, street-wise thief.
    It made me realise how badly some children the same age as me are being treated. This is the kind of book you can read in one sitting and be gripped all the way through.

  28. Emmanuel and little brother Prince are struggling to cope until they meet the strange Mr Green. He teaches them ways to survive but as the boys change, Emmanuel worries about being sucked into a world of crime and how to protect his little brother who is fitting into this new life very well.
    I just couldn’t put this book down: it was non stop action all the way. It was written very simply, which wasn’t a bad thing as it felt like Emmanuel talking, and I loved it from start to finish.

  29. When I first looked at this book I thought it would just be about some kids who run away from a mean uncle, but it turned out to be so much more. The most intriguing bit was when Mr Green turned out to have the wallet that the boys had stolen. I genuinely thought that they’d been caught and would have to run for it. Overall, this book was very satisfying.

  30. This was really good book and I couldn’t stop reading it! It was written in a simple and direct style as it was meant to be related by a 12 year old boy and was easy to believe. I’ll definitely recommend it.

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