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Posted October 2, 2009
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
Samuel Gerard and his friends Jonathon and Jesse are out to get the Mexicans. According to the three friends, the Mexicans have stolen their bikes for the last time. It's time for revenge.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
At least that's what used to occupy Samuel's thoughts. Now things are looking a bit different. When your father quits his teaching job and starts living in a tent in the backyard and reading nothing but the Bible, things don't look quite the way they used to. Samuel's father is having what might be termed a "mid-life crisis." He has turned to the word of God to explain and justify his every move.
Samuel tries to stay connected with his father by spending time in the tent and listening to him read from the Bible, but eventually he realizes the man has to deal with this crisis on his own. It's not long until his father packs up and takes off, leaving Samuel alone with his hard-working mother.
Samuel and his two friends are often the victims of taunting from the kids at school. They are fairly good students but not particularly athletic or popular, which makes them targets for the bullies. Samuel, in particular, with his discount store clothing and his strange vegetarian lunches, makes him an easy target for teasing. One especially scary tormentor is Saula, an odd and incredibly strong girl with an unexplained hatred for Samuel.
To make matters worse, Samuel's mother offers to have his cousin, David, come to live with them. Unfortunate family circumstances have made David a hot-tempered and volatile individual. Now Samuel has a bully to deal with right under his own roof.
THE BOOK OF SAMUEL follows a 12-year-old boy through the turmoil of family problems and the often too typical pressures of being different. There are moments of humor, moments of frustration, moments of sadness, and even moments of horror as Samuel negotiates his way through life.
The book is at times a challenging read, but readers will find meaning and satisfaction as they get to know and understand this determined young man.
Posted September 21, 2009
walks out on his family to preach the word of Jesus. Samuel's life changes for the worse as he is now responsible as the man of the family though not yet a teen.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
His friends antagonize and fight with the Hispanicc students and he joins them. His depressed mom needs cheering up and his energetic grandma needs to be placed in a home because the present living conditions are not working any longer. His cousin, forced to leave his hometown due to causing trouble there, moves into the Gerard household; enhancing an already tense family situation. Samuel is angry at the world and takes it out on those who care about him. When his father comes home for a short respite from his mission to save souls, Samuel does not recognize this stranger who used to be his dad. Finally his friends demand he join them as they resolve to handle the Mexican "problem".
The protagonist has to cope with a series of painful events as a modern day Job rather than Samuel, but has the tenacity and soul to handle his traumas; rejecting his father's path for redemption means abandoning your loved ones as that is an easy cop out. Erik Raschke uses real social issues like absentee fathers, immigration and aging parents to bring believability to the sudden need for a tweener to grow up rather quickly. Though some might insist Samuel adapts too easily, anyone who knows a single parent household with a latchkey child will realize he struggles with monumental personal changes from care free child to responsible young adult.
Posted November 2, 2009
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