National Book Read 2022–2023: Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School

The NASP Social Justice Committee (SJC) is pleased to announce the 2022-2023 National Book Read, Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School by Carla Shalaby. The SJC encourages individuals and groups to engage with this text throughout the 2022-2023 school year. Committee members have developed a discussion guide designed to help readers think both broadly and specifically about how the issues discussed in the book connect to social justice for youth and families. If you would like to lead a group discussion around this book, the guidance documents are available both online and in printable PDF formats.

As you engage in the book read, please reference the NASP (2017) definition of social justice for additional context:  

Social justice is both a process and a goal that requires action. School psychologists work to ensure the protection of the educational rights, opportunities, and well-being of all children, especially those whose voices have been muted, identities obscured, or needs ignored. Social justice requires promoting nondiscriminatory practices and the empowerment of families and communities. School psychologists enact social justice through culturally responsive professional practice and advocacy to create schools, communities, and systems that ensure equity and fairness for all children and youth.  

Keeping in mind the centrality of social justice to school psychology practice, the SJC encourages school psychologists to organize groups (e.g., school-based colleagues, district colleagues, graduate education program faculty, and students) to read and discuss the book. We encourage interdisciplinary groups that include a range of school-based mental health providers and educators. Videos with tips for facilitating book reads will be available via the Social Justice page of the NASP website. This guidance document offers a structured way to engage in discussions about our recommended National Book Read. The questions are designed to prompt thought, critique, and action steps towards increasing the ability of individuals, schools, and communities to be a force for social justice.

Planning Your Book Read

To help coordinate your book read, we suggest using one of the following timelines:

Number of Meetings Time Per Meeting Theme Chapters to Discuss
1 2 hours 1.    Reconceptualizing Troublemaking 1.    Foreword- A Note to All Readers
2 1 hour

1.    Forest School 

2.    Crossroads School 

1.    Forward- Lucas

2.    Sean- A Note to All Readers 

3  30-45 minutes

1.    (In)Visibility & Being Out-standing 

2.    Being Pigeonholed and Willful 

3.    Being Good, Love, & Freedom 

1.    Forward- Zora

2.    Lucas- Sean

3.    Marcus- A Note to All Readers

Facilitators should be mindful of the safety and comfort of attendees when determining if in-person meetings are appropriate. Please see the Facilitating a Book Read video available on NASP's Social Justice website for additional considerations for in-person environments. If you decide to meet virtually, Zoom and GoToMeeting are excellent options for synchronous virtual group discussions. If you would like an asynchronous approach, we recommend dialogue-oriented sites for engaging with your book read members, such as Flipgrid, Padlet, Discord, Microsoft Teams. Your schools/institutions may already have memberships and support to offer for these services.

  When facilitating a book read, there will likely be varying opinions, experiences, and interpretations. Further, the subject matter can elicit strong emotional reactions that fuel disagreement among participants. To prepare, we encourage facilitators to watch our video, Tips for Fostering Dialogue Across Difference, to help navigate tense situations should they arise.   Finally, facilitators are encouraged to create learning objectives to help guide their group's book discussions. We offer the following learning objectives as examples for Troublemakers.   The learning objectives of this book read are that attendees will:  

  1. Recognize the various perspectives, contexts, experiences, and systems that influence our interpretation of "trouble-making" behaviors;
  2. Enhance their understanding of intersections between students, their teachers, their home, and the larger society;
  3. Examine what constitutes freedom within education settings;
  4. and apply the knowledge and awareness provided in the Troublemakers to the services and advocacy expected of school psychologists.