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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Samantha Sanderson: Off The Record by Robin Caroll

ISBN: 9780310742494
Publisher's Synopsis:
Sam Sanderson is an independent, resourceful, high-tech cheerleader. She dreams of becoming an award-winning journalist like her mother, so she’s always looking for articles to publish in her middle-school paper (where she secretly hopes to become chief editor).
With a police officer for a father, Sam is in no short supply of writing material.
In the third book of the Samantha Sanderson series, when the school’s grades were tampered with, Sam must enlist Makayla’s help in hacking the system to discover the virus that was used and who committed the crime. But when the lead suspect is her new found friend, Felicia, Sam must choose whether to stick by her friends at all costs or report the story as she sees it.
The Samantha Sanderson series is about an ordinary girl with extraordinary dreams. Each book touches on a crime straight from headlines, from bomb threats to bullying, while following Samantha and her friends as they navigate middle-school and questions of faith.

MrsK's Review:
It was with great anticipation that I began another journey with Sam. She is an enterprising, fresh, and headstrong journalist. Her "nose" for a story is rarely off track. Her diplomacy can be a bit under-developed, but given that she is in middle-school... well it is enough to say that her "straight-on" attitude gets the story lead that is necessary to make any scandalous "hacker" be on guard.

With the return from winter break, Sam is excited about the posting of her grades. Like so many other students, the anxious "click" of the mouse will determine the mood of her parents. Only this time around every student will be in for a surprise. Added to the grade dilemma is this semester's reporting assignments. Sam definitely does not welcome Aubrey's nasty attitude. Can there be anything positive about that one person in school whose mission is to destroy and put down everything you do? At the end of the day, a wave of commotion is heard down the hall as students discover that their grades will cause all of their parents to go ballistic.  What was going on? Isn't the grading system secured enough to prevent tampering? Who would change everyone's grades? How did they change everyone's grades?

Now that's a story, and Sam is on the record. Is grade tampering, especially at this magnitude even possible? As Sam pulls the scrunchie off her wrist and wraps her hair into her "thinking do," she begins her investigative reporting. Did you know that a computer virus has its own thumbprint? Would her father's Chief of Police allow a teenager to "hack" into the school's computer drive to look for evidence? Can she get the best scoops... hopefully... without getting innocent people even deeper in trouble? Will Aubrey "best" her stories?

With authentic character voices, believable twists and turns, insightful reporting do's and dont's, Sam will keep you guessing as she "uncovers the truth" and brings the "hackers" to the front of her school's online newspaper. 

Punishment... violations... expulsions... its all news to Sam,
Enjoy this newest Sam Sanderson mystery... I can't wait to read her next byline!
MrsK
 
Fun...Enjoyable...Captivating...Endearing...
Meet the Author:
 Picture   Robin Caroll  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.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of 25-plus years, her 3 beautiful daughters, 2 precious grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else? 


 "I received this book for free from Book Look Bloggers for this review."
I review for BookLook Bloggers 
 Zondervan

So many books to explore:

MrsK's to-read book montage

Heartbreak Creek
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Each Little Bird that Sings
The Saturdays
Emily of Deep Valley
Roxaboxen


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MrsK's Reading Bio

Reading is important! No questions asked, not even a blink of the eye from any student I grew up with. On the first day of the First grade, we were given our first books. Day two we all read aloud, round robin of course. Day three we were place in our first basal, now known as a lit circle group. Books were so important, publishers designed new curriculum so that every student was reading by the end of the first week. These early readers had images that looked like what we could see in the classroom, beyond the classroom, even on the big screen. Reading is important, throughout history every generation has believed that “Reading” opens up the world for endless possibilities.

I adore the 1950’s Dick and Jane books. Actually, most reading specialists and experienced (45+) educators believe that every student learned to read with Dick and Jane. Since these books are being re-issued, I have heard many parents, grandparents, and students claim that Dick and Jane stories of repetition does teach students to read.

Early influences from my mother influenced my desire to read. I would watch her read and we would go on “secret” excursions to the library. The library became my playground. I owned every book I could carry home, of course they needed to be taken back to their home after visiting with me for a week or two. My first book that I could pull off of the library shelf and read was, Father Bear Comes Home. I only saw my dad on Sundays for a few hours. I would pull this beginning reader off of the library shelf every week. Every week I would try to read the first chapter. Every week I got further in the story. My mom would let me check it out, only if I could read it myself (She didn’t like the illustrations therefore she didn’t want to take time to read it to me). One day, I pulled the book from the shelf and when mom came to get me from the children’s corner, I realized that I had read the whole story. I ran to the check out desk and the Librarian KERCHUNKED the checkout card. My mother, brother and neighbors read. My teachers read. We all read aloud all day long in school. The Priest read aloud every day at mass, even in Latin. Everybody in the Doctor’s office read. People on the bus read. Dad’s waiting in their cars as the Mom’s and children grocery shopped, read. In fact, once you could read and write, Sunset Magazine considered you a reader and sent you mail every day.

Reading is important; I’ve spent my life reading. I’ve traveled around the world and into space through books. My favorite genre is whichever book I have open at the time. Children’s Literature is my passion. Book clubbing is one of the best past times, especially if food is involved. In fact my friends of old are in a book club and we are about to embark on a beach trip to “read” and discuss our newest selection.

My “home-run” book story has helped every student find his or her own “home-run” reads. Every year, I have shared my, Father Bear Comes Home, and every year my students have brought in their “home-run” books. That’s the “diving board” into our Lit. Studies.

In “Growing Up Digital,” Tapscott’s insights into the new generations enthusiasm for the Net reminded me of my generation’s enthusiasm for reading, movies, TV, parties and our driving permits. The Net-Generation, as Tapscott describes, “are learning, playing, communicating, working, creating communities, and enforcing a social transformation.”
N-Geners are interactive “techies” who are always looking for a way to “work it” verses the TV Generation of “Baby Boomers” who started out looking for “how it works.” Reading development is tougher today, society moves too fast to invest their “non-working” free time into a book or even “home work.” Since I stepped into my own classroom, I have seen students being told to read, being forced to read, and threatened into reading. Homework is not any longer the vehicle for students to gain their future lifestyles or careers with. Yet, the Internet does create an enthusiasm for learning. Since I have been enrolled in these courses, I have used the computers in every subject. My students are using the newest technology in the classroom because I am giving them investigative sites to use as they learn from each other and books. I agree with Tapscott, in order to bridge the gap with this up and coming generation we must “live and learn with them.”


FTC Required Disclaimer: I receive these books from the publishers. I did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews. These reviews have been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

2014

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