I enjoy getting books that would be good for my tween daughter (who just turned 11) to read. She loves to read and she loved reading the Samantha Sanderson books. When we received them I didn’t have time to read them yet; my daughter read them in a matter of days!
The first book in the Faithgirlz! Series for Tweens by Robin Caroll is Samantha Sanderson At the Movies. We are introduced to Sam who is a 7th grader in public school and her best friend Makayla. The scenes go from school, fun places (movie theater, football game), church, and Sam’s home. Sam has a great desire to be an investigative reporter like her mother. Sam’s father is a police detective. The story starts out at the movie theater when Sam helps to discover that a bomb has been planted there.
The entire story is that Sam is reporting on the crime at her school’s new blog site. She continually has to make decisions about what would be appropriate to print, and she often makes bad decisions, such as all but accusing certain people of committing the crime when there was no proof. She justifies what she does by saying that that’s what a reporter does. At the end of the story she learns that she didn’t do it very well. Her mom and dad talk to her about writing things that are kind–not just true. And listening to her father’s wishes and keeping his trust, instead of just writing what she wants to because she’ll get more comments.
The story was very well-written. Nothing about the writing bothered me (which seems to be common in lots of books these days). I loved the ways living out the Christian life was seemlessly woven into the story. Sam talks to her youth director at church and gets advice on witnessing to her friend at school who isn’t a Christian. She prays with her dad and talks with her mom about God.
The only negative thing I have is that there was so much more time that Sam spent justifying writing what she wanted than there was of her admitting she was wrong and listening to her parents explain the best way. I fear that maybe my daughter didn’t quite catch all of it.
Overall, I recommend Samantha Sanderson At the Movies as a book that would be great for a Christian tween girl to read. Now, I’m off to read Samantha Sanderson On the Scene!
(I received a complimentary copy of Samantha Sanderson At the Movies in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)