Sam's Theory

Sam's Theory

by Sarah Mendivel




After a final act of horrendous abuse threatens her life, fifteen-year-old Sam runs away from home and into the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. Physically and emotionally exhausted, she happens upon a mysterious tree house in the woods which shelters an old woman named Theory. Through elements of magic and sage advice, Theory takes Sam on an unforgettable healing journey. Sam begins to discover that she, too, has powers. But her process is interrupted by the nervous reality that her abusers will soon go after her younger sister, Nova, unless she can get to her first.

With the help of Sam's friend, Dodger, and two other spirited kids from foster care, the group sets up a hidden camp in the wilderness and forms "The Orphan's Collective." While struggling to create their own concept of "family," Dodger and Sam also work to navigate their budding feelings for one another. As the group formulates a plan to reach the masses of kids left behind by adults who never wanted them, they naturally begin to rewrite the fate that has seemingly already been decided for them.

Sam's Theory is a story of immeasurable grit and re-empowerment after trauma. With embedded real-world advice, it is the recognition of our tremendous capacity as human beings to withstand darkness and summon resiliency, simply by learning how to use our voices and reconnect with those around us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781977568502
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 01/08/2018
Pages: 386
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

Sarah Mendivel is a master's level behavioral health interventionist and researcher. She has devoted her life's work to advocating for children and teens with trauma backgrounds. Sarah was the founder of the child life publication, Light Spinner Quarterly. She enjoys hiking and motivational speaking and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest. Sam's Theory is her debut novel.

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Sam's Theory 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite Sam's Theory by Sarah Mendivel is a tale of domestic child abuse, trauma, healing, and empowerment, a story of fifteen-year-old Sam who is given away to a foster home by parents who don’t seem ready for her and her sister, and she gets horribly abused by her foster parents. When the story starts, Sam is running away from home, pursued by her abuser. Finding herself in the woods, Sam stumbles on a tree house that houses a mysterious old woman known as Theory. In Theory, she finds a friend, a teacher, and someone willing to listen to her story and protect her. Theory will help her discover her real worth and her gifts, setting her on a healing journey that restores her self-image and confidence. But what about her younger sister? How can Sam focus when she knows her sister isn’t safe? Sam starts on a journey to building “The Orphan Collective” with other kids in an effort to create something that looks like home and family. Their dream is to give kids like themselves a chance to belong, to empower them, and to help them build their own destiny. Follow this inspiring story as they deal with powerful feelings and work together to heal their world. This is an engrossing story told in a gripping first person narrative voice, the voice of Sam, which is as compelling as it is impassioned. The reader is pulled in and invited to navigate the psyche of a child abused by foster parents. Sarah Mendivel has a great gift for character and it is delightful to see how Sam morphs into someone who takes charge and who builds her self-confidence. Theory is used to demonstrate the power of mentorship and positive influence in the life of a teenager who is searching and uncertain of the future. World building is also impeccably done and the setting reflects the story and Sam’s inner world. Sam's Theory is a tale of inner freedom and healing from abuse, a story filled with insightful lessons and what it takes to beat trauma and find purpose. It's a story that is emotionally and psychologically rich.
Literary_Titan More than 1 year ago
Sam’s Theory by Sarah Mendivel is a magical realism novel hitting major elements of mental health. We follow a teenage girl named Sam through her heartbreaking and triumphant journey to escapes tragic abuse. When she runs away she stumbles upon a tree house in the forest where a magical old woman lives who is compassionate and kind. It is here where Sam’s journey takes her through healing, acceptance, becomes a healer herself, and learns family can also consist of the people we choose. This book is a fantastic magical, heartfelt, and heartbreaking journey. Sam endures many challenges in her life that lead to her feeling broken and betrayed. She no longer feels as if she is worthy of anyone’s love, she no longer feels safe, and does not trust anyone. I could really feel the hurt and the story does a great job of creating deep feelings of empathy and sympathy. There are many dark themes to this book and is riddled with stories of abuse of all kinds. One of the aspects I appreciate about this book is that it does not go into gritty detail of the abuse and instead focuses on the emotional impact and subsequent journey. The author treats these events as they are, terrifying and ugly, but also shows how the abuse is not the fault of those who are abused. The story also made me feel like those who have been abused are still worthy of love, can find love, and can heal. That they do not have to go through anything alone. The book is incredibly relatable to anyone who has faced abuse. It is heartwarming to be reassured that what happened was not the fault of abused, and that they can turn the situation around and become a stronger person through the bravery of sharing their stories. From a mental health perspective, I think this book can be a great way to learn about the impacts of violence, neglect, and other forms of abuse. And also teach those who have been in those situations that they are worthy and loved. This is an incredibly important message to send to people. While the book dealt with heavy topics and made me cry on numerous occasions, it is written beautifully. I love this book and highly recommend it to everyone who wants to learn more about abuse and see a persons value. Even though it can be a heart-wrenching read at times, I think it is powerful story with a lovely message.