Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review - "Samantha Sanderson On the Scene" by Robin Caroll

Samantha Sanderson On the Scene
by Robin Caroll
Faithgirlz: Samantha Sanderson series, Book #2
Published by Zondervan (Zonderkidz)
256 Pages
Target Audience: Girls, Ages 8-12
Genres: Christian Fiction, Youth Fiction, Mystery
About this book:
"What if getting to the bottom of a mystery means learning how to love your enemy? As Samantha and the rest of the middle schoolers prepare for the upcoming Spring Fest, “mean girl” Nikki faces the reality that her parents are getting divorced. Samantha has a hard time sympathizing---Nikki has never been very nice to anyone, let alone Samantha. But when Nikki becomes victim of a string of attacks, Sam takes it upon herself and uses her super sleuth abilities to get to the bottom of the bullying. After all, articles on bullying are just what the school paper needs instead of all that silly fluff like popularity tips. Samantha enlists the help of her tech-savvy BFF, Makayla, but while the two track down clues, they leave a trail of trouble behind---and may even be directly responsible for the break-in of their very own school’s computer lab!
Samantha Sanderson is a resourceful seventh grader with the extraordinary dream to become an aspiring award-winning journalist. Sam and her best friend, Makayla, are always sniffing out the next big mystery to report in the school paper---that is, when they aren’t busy navigating the crazy world of middle school, faith, and friends."
 In book #2 of the Samantha Sanderson series, Samantha Sanderson On the Scene, Sam finds out that “mean girl” Nikki Cole is being bullied and decides to try to help her, even though Nikki has never been very nice to Sam. After learning about Nikki being bullied, Sam comes up with the idea to write about the topic of bullying for her school's newspaper. But Sam’s articles get her into trouble again and this time they may be the cause of a break in of their school’s computer lab. Can Sam figure out who is bullying Nikki and why? Is the break in of the computer lab related? And can Sam learn to befriend Nikki and others who have never really been kind to her?

I liked Samantha Sanderson On the Scene just as much at the first book in the series. It’s a great continuation of the series. I really liked how Sam tried to befriend and help Nikki in the story, even though Nikki had never been friendly toward Sam. It illustrates a good lesson for girls that we should love and be kind to even our enemies.

The spiritual content is similar to the first book. Sam goes to youth group at her church and the Bible verses Psalm 34:12-14, Proverbs 31:8, and Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 are discussed while at youth group. Sam prays at different times in the story. Also, Sam learns to trust God while her family is trying to make a tough decision about something that will impact all their lives.

This book does deal more with the subject of divorce than the first book. It also has more mentions of crushes, who likes who, who’s going to homecoming with who, etc. than the first book.

I enjoyed reading Samantha Sanderson On the Scene just as I enjoyed the first book in the series. It’s a great mystery for girls that deals with the real topic of bullying. I’m really looking forward to reading the third book in the series when it comes out!

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