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The Trouble in Me

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1) Watch out for bad influence and bad peer pressure.

Some people are getting in trouble and are bad people because of the people who they surround himself with. It’s called peer pressure, doing something that your peers encourage you to do, there is good peer pressure but there is also bad peer pressure. The Trouble in Me opens with an explosive encounter in which Jack first meets his awesomely rebellious older neighbor, Gary Pagoda, just back from juvie for car theft. Instantly mesmerized, Jack decides he will do whatever it takes to be like Gary. The reason he wants to be like Gary is because he wants something different from his old boring life with no friends and he thinks being friends with Gary Pagoda will solve that but what he did not know is what he gets involved in.

2) Not all role models are good

Jack Gantos finds himself wanting to spice up his life and wants something totally different from his old boring life and luckily when he moved, his neighbor is one of the most popular kids at his school.”Just by chance, Gary was my next-door neighbor and he was everything I had never been. He took me under his wing for only a short time, but he has a powerful effect on me.” (Gantos 6). Jack looked up to Gary and would want to be like him but unfortunately for Jack, Gary was not a good role model to look up to.

3)Be yourself

Jack Gantos thought the solution to his problem which is, he wants a more exciting life then his boring old life, is to be just like Gary who just got out of juvenile the second time. He thinks by befriending

Gary, one of the most popular kids at school, would gain him friends and popularity. You should make a friend by being yourself and not by trying to be someone else who you’re not.

4)You can always say NO

There are often times people to do a bad thing but you always have the option to say no. Jack knew he was going too far when Gary asked him to do something illegal. But since Jack wanted to follow Gary he would always do it, but in his mind, he always knew he could just say no. So stand up for yourself and say no if you know it’s not right.

5)Be nice and welcoming to new people you meet

Jack kept having to move because his parents were in the military and that caused him to keep being the new student in the class. He would get bullied and picked on and was the weird kid because he was the new kid in school. This made Jack think if he would be exactly like one of the popular kids he wouldn’t be picked on and would have more friends but that turned out terribly. All of this could have been avoided if someone would be nice and welcomed him to their life and then they could be friends.

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