Sam likes to watch DVD’s and play computer games. Reading is not for her, even at school. She always finds a way to escape to the sick bay. The school nurse is almost her best friend.
The family pet, Huckleberry the Dachshund, has a farting problem that young readers will enjoy. Sam thinks his gaseous explosions are chemical weapons of mass destruction. Finally the family takes Huckleberry to an Earth Therapist for treatment. To their relief his farting becomes less frequent and smelly.
Fate strikes a double blow at Sam. Her mum is about to launch her new book. Sam is distressed when her mum comes into the classroom to talk about the book. The class thinks that the girl in the story, who has a bed-wetting problem, is really Sam. Sam denies this but her denial reinforces her friends’ belief that the girl is her.
This misunderstanding leads to series of incidents, including a fight with her best friend Emma, which causes a lot of grief and embarrassment for Sam. She sinks into a world filled with frustration. Her mother’s effort to help Sam makes matters worse. Sam hates her lot in life and is desperate to find a solution to her own secret problem. The story has a twist that will delight readers and make them happy for Sam.
Robyn Opie Parnell has written a delightful tale of about the trials of growing up with a problem that is hard to share. Her choice of words make the story sparkle and builds a strong empathy between the reader and Sam.
This is a book I highly recommend for all middle grade readers.
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