I have finished the second book in the Samantha Sanderson series, called Samantha Sanderson On the Scene. These are books written for tween girls by Robin Caroll and published by Zondervan in 2014. It’s a paperback book 264 pages long.
Sam Sanderson is a junior high student who is a cheerleader and works on the school newspaper. Her dream is to become an investigative reporter like her mom, who travels often. Sam’s father is a police officer, and Sam is an only child. In this story one of Sam’s friends is being bullied. Sam decides to do a series on bullying for the school to get the subject out there and to help catch the bully who is hurting her friend. There is also a theme of divorce throughout the story as Sam interacts with several kids whose parents have divorced or are considering it. Sam even fears at one point that her own parents might divorce. But her parents are strong believers and demonstrate how to work through differences and conflict.
What I liked:
The main theme is great. Bullies are cruel and should be stopped. I liked how we learn about it from the perspective of the victim, the friend, the parent, the police, and the school staff. The more knowledge we all have, maybe some bullying will be stopped. I also like how the book is written from a Christian perspective.
What I didn’t like:
There was a common thread throughout the book that there was a horrible fear from Sam’s friend Makayla that her mother might homeschool her. This was described as almost a fate worse than the bullying! As a homeschool mom of a homeschooled middle school-aged daughter who read the book, this was very disheartening to me! I’m shocked that the author included this subject so often in the book (about 6 times), and can only conclude that she is trying to persuade people away from homeschooling, just as much as she wants to inform them about the dangers of bullying. It was so bad that as much as I enjoyed most of the other aspects of the book, I won’t be recommending this one and we won’t be reading anymore of the series (unless, of course, Robin Carroll chooses to apologize and to write about the many positive aspects of homeschooling in a future Samantha Sanderson book.)
(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)