Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head by Nancy Viau, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head

Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head

5.0 6
by Nancy Viau
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Ten-year-old Samantha Hansen is a mad scientist. But not the crazy kind—she doesn’t blow stuff up or mix potions or dissect bugs. She just loves science—especially rocks—and figuring out how the world around her works. But there are some things there just isn’t a scientific answer for. Like, why can’t her bossy big sister keep her

Overview

Ten-year-old Samantha Hansen is a mad scientist. But not the crazy kind—she doesn’t blow stuff up or mix potions or dissect bugs. She just loves science—especially rocks—and figuring out how the world around her works. But there are some things there just isn’t a scientific answer for. Like, why can’t her bossy big sister keep her hands off Sam’s rock collection? And why can’t Sam control her temper? There are some bigger questions, too, like why did her father have to die? And why won’t her mom talk about him anymore?

When Sam’s mom announces a family trip to the Grand Canyon, it’s a dream come true. But it’s also a challenge: If Sam can’t learn to calm down and ignore her irritating sister, she’s going to miss her chance to see one of the world’s biggest rocks and maybe find the answers to some of her questions.

Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head is a hilarious and touching debut that introduces an exuberant new character who studies the world around her as she discovers what is in her own heart.

F&P level: S

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

Samantha Hansen loves studying rocks, so when her mother announces that she is taking Sam and her 15-year-old sister on a vacation to the Grand Canyon, the fourth grader is in heaven. First, though, Sam has to learn to control her temper-not an easy task when her big sister seems to delight in provoking her, and when a classmate taunts her at recess and causes her to end up in the principal's office. Sam's mother comes close to canceling, and it is only Sam's redoubled efforts to count to 10 when she knows that she is about to lose control that enable the plans to go forward. During the trip, Sam discovers more about the death of her father when she was younger, and she and her sister learn to appreciate one another a little more in spite of the ongoing sibling squabbling. Overall, Sam is an engaging and realistically drawn protagonist, although some of her mannerisms are a little too reminiscent of Junie B. Jones and what works for a first grader isn't as appealing in a fourth grader. Nonetheless, Sam's love of science is refreshing, and Viau does a nice job of incorporating information about the Grand Canyon and the study of geology into the story line. Readers will easily relate to Sam as she tries to make sense of the world around her.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

Kirkus Reviews
Girl readers who are regretfully leaving the Amber Brown series or are about to graduate from the school of Junie B. Jones might be happy to meet Sam Hansen, fourth grader and rock enthusiast. Sam shares many qualities with Junie B.-the obligatory spunk, a chattily ingenuous voice-but her passion for science distinguishes her from other franchise heroines. Supporting characters are typical: an odd, greeting-card-writing widowed mother, a cliched, text-messaging older sister and a best friend who lives next door. This rather plotless first effort gains some traction well past the middle, when the all-female family vacations at that geologist's paradise, the Grand Canyon. Sam is a likable character, but the narrative is not particularly nuanced or humorous; moreover, her anger-management issue is overdone and eventually grows tiresome. But for those young readers who are not quite ready for Ramona and long for more Junie B., this might be the prescription for transition. (Fiction. 8-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810972995
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,089,468
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
590L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Nancy Viau has written stories for numerous children’s magazines, including Highlights and Ladybug. This is her debut novel. She lives in Mullica Hill, New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >