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Bravo Zulu, Samantha!

Bravo Zulu, Samantha!

by Kathleen Benner Duble

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heidi Quist
When her parents must go away for a month to help her aunt move, Samantha is forced to live with her grandparents during the best part of the summer. Not only does she have to be away from her friends and the swimming pool but, worst of all, she has to spend every day with her grumpy grandfather, the Colonel who has not cracked a smile since he retired from the Air Force. After a few days with him, Sam realizes the Colonel must be up to something and determines to find his secret. With the help of a neighborhood boy, Sam discovers the Colonel is making his own airplane, and Sam is sure her grandma would not approve. Duble adds excitement to the story as the granddaughter and grandfather butt heads over the importance or random crazy facts versus aviation facts. Tying this theme in at the end, Duble also adds a creative and feminist twist. However, the feminist appeal is undercut with a distracting and unnecessary romance between the two twelve-year-olds. In spite of the many women who have had dominant roles in the history, the reader is left to suppose that even if young girls like aviation, they are still only socially acceptable if they are able to have romance in their lives, even at so young an age as twelve. Though tainted with a potential interpretation of Sam caving in to a manipulative old man, the overall effect is more positive, and Duble does demonstrate positive qualities of good relationships, as Sam and the Colonel learn to get along and help each other with their weaknesses.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-6
Samantha, 12, is unhappy about spending her summer with her grandparents rather than at home. Grandma is nice but works part-time, which means that Samantha will be stuck with her crabby grandfather, a retired military pilot. She quickly figures out that the Colonel is acting weirder and more antisocial than usual. They have an awkward relationship as he is obsessed with planes and aeronautical facts while she is more of a Guinness Book of World Records kind of a gal. Eventually, with the help of local cutie Billy, Sam discovers her grandfather's amazing secret. The aviation history and trivia facts are fun, but the story moves somewhat slowly until the end, and there is a detached quality to the narration. However, the excitement of the denouement compensates a bit. This is a supplemental choice that might be appealing to reluctant readers interested in the science and craft of airplanes.
—B. Allison GrayCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)
590L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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