"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Samantha Sanderson: On the Scene, by Robin Caroll

This is the second book in a middle grades Christian series about Samantha Sanderson, a seventh grade reporter.  I didn’t like the first book because I thought the characters had questionable values.  But I wanted to try this second one because I did like the basic premise.

This book was much better than the first.  I did not have the same issues with values that I did with the first book.  

There were two serious issues here - bullying being the most central to the plot.  As an educator, I’m always interested in books that discuss bullying.  I feel this was handled in a very appropriate way, giving good advice to students who are being bullied.

The second issue was that of whether or not First Amendment rights apply to the staff of a school newspaper.  And while this was also handled in an accurate manner, it may not be very interesting to readers who are not interested in journalism or the law.

The characters are more likable in this installment of the series.  New characters are introduced that make the plot more interesting.  However, the book does start to drag on and become slightly repetitive by the end.  

I’d recommend this book to any middle grades reader, Christian or not.  I do not feel that the Christian portions would be offensive to a non-Christian.  The great discussions of how to handle bullying are hard to find in other middle grades books.  I do, however, urge parents to read and discuss these books with their daughters because of my issues with the morality of the characters in the first book.

Three out of Five Stars

Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.