“Troublemaker,” a book for young readers by actor John Cho, has been published by Little, Brown and Company.
“Troublemaker” follows the events of the 1992 L.A. Riots through the eyes of 12-year-old Jordan as he navigates school and family. This book will highlight the unique Korean American perspective.
Jordan feels like he can’t live up to the example his older sister set, or his parents’ expectations. When he returns home from school one day hoping to hide his suspension, Los Angeles has reached a turning point. In the wake of the acquittal of the police officers filmed beating Rodney King, as well as the shooting of a young black teen, Latasha Harlins, by a Korean store owner, the country is at the precipice of confronting its racist past and present.
As tensions escalate, Jordan’s father leaves to check on the family store, spurring Jordan and his friends to embark on a dangerous journey to come to his aid, and come to terms with the racism within and affecting their community.
Cho is known as Harold from the “Harold & Kumar” films, Hikaru Sulu from J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” films, or as the star of the live-action Netflix series “Cowboy Bebop,” based on the worldwide cult anime phenomenon. He is a former 7th-grade English teacher who grew up as a Korean immigrant kid in Texas and East L.A. (among many other places). He is also now a proud father, with his Japanese-American wife Kerri, of two beautiful children — a 9-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old boy — who love to read.
“A heartfelt, insightful book exploring the bond between father and son who deepen their relationship while navigating social justice, police bias, Korean American identity, and the trauma of the L.A. Riots.” — Jewell Parker Rhodes, bestselling author of “Ghost Boys” and “Paradise on Fire”
“An action-packed story about mistakes, redemption, and real-life danger. I couldn’t put this book down!” — Alan Gratz, New York Times bestselling author of “Ground Zero” and “Refugee”
“Complex family dynamics are at the heart of this compelling, fast-paced debut novel. John Cho’s highly personal Korean American perspective of the L.A. Riots combine harsh realities, racial tension, and ultimately hope.” — Lisa Yee, author of “Maizy Chen’s Last Chance”
A book release party will be held online by the Los Angeles Public Library on Friday, April 29, from 4 to 5 p.m. Pacific. Cho will be joined by former L.A. City Councilmember Michael Woo and filmmaker/researcher Carol Park. This Future Ready Teens event will be moderated by teen members of the library’s Teens Leading Change initiative and the Koreatown Youth & Community Center’s Koreatown Storytelling Program. Those attending the virtual program will have an opportunity to win a free book.
Streaming live on the library’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/losangeleslibrary