MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Samantha Sanderson at the Movies

         Samantha Sanderson At the Movies            
ISBN: 9780310742456
Book Look Synopsis:
The first book in an exciting new series about a girl with dreams to become an investigative journalist, each book promises to touch on a crime straight from the headlines, while also tackling tough issues faced by middle-schoolers everywhere.

A new addition to the Faithgirlz! trusted brand of books introduces readers to Sam Sanderson, an independent, resourceful, tech-savvy cheerleader and aspiring journalist, and Sam's best friend Makayla. They're ordinary 7th graders who enjoy shopping, texting, and going to the mall-along with sniffing out the next big mysteries to report in the school paper.

In this first book of the series, Sam gets the lead on a developing and controversial story when an explosive device is discovered in a local movie theater-controversial because this movie theater has recently come under attack by a renowned, outspoken atheist, for allowing a local church to show Christian movies at the theater. Sam's family has always been strong in their walk with the Lord, and Sam knows what she believes, but for the first time her faith is really put to the test, especially when she compromises her ethics as a journalist when she reports on the case her father is overseeing for the police.

MrsK's Review:
"There was just something right about popcorn so covered in butter that you had to lick your fingers."
Perfect "hook" for me.  What is going to a movie without the comforting joy of a tub of buttered popcorn?  If you attend church and/or youth groups, it is not a new concept for theater's to close for a special viewing of a faith-based movie.  What was surprising was the fact that "others" would be so opposed to the idea that there would be a possibility of violence.  Unfortunately, this is a reality for our teens, as well as the reality for Sam's night out before school begins.

Sam is a "scoop" artist.  With a father as an investigative detective and the added opportunity for Sam to be the lead "reporter" for the school's blog... well you know that Sam will get herself in and out of some "murderous" situations.  Many of which is putting pressure on her father and unnerving some students who would like to see her blog "crash and burn."  Sam knows that this blog could get her into the running for being the editor next year, so she convinces her father to let her blog the facts.  The challenge for Sam will be stating the truth and not prejudging what she perceives as the truth.

As Sam uncovers the truth, she is faced with an inner truth:
 "...that the fear of the Lord that's talked about in Scripture is a reverent fear and awe, not a scared-of-the-boogeyman type of fear."
"Reporter's shouldn't editorialize or sensationalize... just report the facts."  Can Sam report just the facts and leave out the investigative truths that are coming together like pieces in a puzzle?  As a field reporter, her mother warns her to be very careful "...Even most journalists don't truly have a grasp on freedom of speech."

Sam's reporting steps on toes, creates many headaches for the school's principal, causes her father to make some decisions that he doesn't want to make... and in the end, helps Sam to weigh "how" to report without hurting those she is talking about.

This storyline is quite the surprise.  I was thrilled with the delivery of the plot.  The characters are dedicated Christians who are finding their path while attending middle school (definitely a hard enough walk in and of its own). This is such a refreshing read, it can be so difficult to find literature that will satisfy the quest for middle school readers.  So many of today's options are not books which resonate with Christian teens.  This is a book that will provide a bridge for many of our students.

Picture Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books.

Enjoyable reading for everyone... Will be adding to our Library shelves!
I review for BookLook Bloggers
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. 
I was not required to write a positive review. 
The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> :
 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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