It’s at this inflection point that Korean American actor John Cho has set his first novel, Troublemaker, a galvanizing middle-grade offering that follows the L.A. riots through the eyes of 12-year-old Korean American Jordan Park, whose parents own a liquor store. When Jordan’s father leaves to check on the store amid mounting unrest, Jordan and his friends set out on a perilous journey to help his dad, and Jordan is forced to face the racism plaguing his own community.
Excerpt from Troublemaker, by John Cho
Apr 29, 1992
I never knew a pair of shoes could scare me so much, but when I see Umma and Appa’s sneakers by the door when I walk in, I nearly jump right out of my skin. It’s not that they’re anything out of the ordinary. The shoes, I mean, with Appa’s laces fraying at the ends and Umma’s looking more gray than white like they did when she first bought them. What’s weird is the fact that they’re here at all. It’s just a little after 4 PM on a Wednesday and Umma and Appa should both be at the store. Not at home.