Just Between Sam and Me
Congratulations to Cat Michaels and Rosie Russell!
Just Between Sam and Me is our latest Certified great Read!
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Just Between Sam and Me
A tale for tweens
By Cat Michaels and Rosie Russell
6th Grade is Tough with a Mean Girl Against You
Shy Olivia just wants to do her best in 6th grade and care for the animals on her family farm. But the new girl at school is determined to turn that world upside down.
So Olivia pours out her heart in a journal to the only one who truly understands …
her cat, Sam!
Will Olivia discover how to speak up for herself?
Can she make it through the pitfalls of tween social life?
Join Olivia and Sam in this purr-fect tale of courage and hope to find out!
About Rosie Russell
About Cat Michaels
Award-winning author/blogger CAT MICHAELS, M.S., Ed., started writing stories in fourth grade and never stopped.
Her chapter books for children tell of everyday life with twists of mystery and mischief. She encourages children to use their imagination and solve kid-sized dilemmas as they enjoy reading and learn about the natural world.
Visit her website https://www.catmichaelswriter.com/
Award-winning author/blogger Cat Michaels collaborates with another successful middle-grade author Rosie Russell to create an inspiring and thought-provoking middle-grade novel, Just Between Sam and Me.
This sensitive and thoughtful book is narrated by Olivia Martin, an 11-year-old girl who lives in Spring Hope, Missouri with her family. She loves her farm life and adores her Palomino pony, star, and her cat, Sam. Olivia is about to start her Sixth Grade and she is both excited and nervous at the same time. When a city girl named Candace Mazare moves to her town, Olivia tries to befriend her by inviting her to visit her family farm and to hang out with her best friend, Isabella. Olivia’s dream of entering her horse in The Spring Daze Festival is challenged when Candace breaks her trust. What is more upsetting to Olivia is that Candace won’t admit her mistake and instead starts hating on Olivia. She’s shocked when Candace crosses lines by being mean to her. This behavior includes humiliating Olivia in front of the class, leaving hateful messages in Olivia’s locker, and passing snippy comments about Olivia’s school pictures. Candace involves Bethany and Brooke(close friends of Olivia) in her plans to take Olivia down, which makes her very upset and feel even more isolated. Lessons about finding the strength to stand up to bullies and to find your unique voice help balance out the mean behavior. The feeling of social conformity is pervasive in the small town of Missouri town where the story is set, but there’s diversity among characters.
Meanwhile, Olivia’s relationships with her brother’s good-looking friend, Seb, evolve, as he shares his own experience of facing the bullies. Olivia realizes that she is not alone and stops believing her bullies and start believing in herself.
Bullying doesn’t take center stage in this middle-grade novel, but it is one of the main themes. Other important themes are friendship, farm life, family life, caring for animals, and the struggles of a middle grader. Kids will relate to the tricky social footwork that middle school requires. And they’ll appreciate Olivia’s newly found courage and her willingness to do what’s right.
Just Between Sam and Me is a wonderful read for tweens and teens that shows positive ways to stand up to bullying and how a person can grow beyond them. It is painful to read some of the pages when the mean girl in the novel is so cruel to the main character, Olivia. However, it’s an extremely honest and realistic view of kid behavior that’s worth examining by parents and middle-grade children. The novel does not spell out moral lessons for kids, but it teaches them by portraying truly repugnant behavior. The characters are believable, if not too likable, and the story is logical and entertaining.
Highly recommended! Five stars!
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