Friday, March 28, 2014

Review: Samantha Sanderson At the Movies by Robin Caroll

A new addition to the Faithgirlz trusted brand of books, Samantha Sanderson’s Big Story introduces us to Sam Sanderson, an independent, resourceful, future award-winning journalist, and her best friend Makayla, two 7th graders who enjoy shopping, texting, going to the mall, the skating rink---and sniffing out the next big mysteries to report in the school paper.
I was irritated while reading this book, but the mystery made up for the not-so-okay parts.

In Samantha Sanderson At the Movies, Sam is an ordinary 7th grader who dreams of becoming a journalist. When a bomb is found at the local cinema, Sam makes it her mission to get to the bottom of the mystery, while at the same time reporting the details for her school paper.

Sam has plenty of theories, most of which are at least remotely plausible. In that sense, she's a good detective. I think she's actually make a better detective than a reporter. Why? Because she does a number of questionable things throughout the book. I used to write for my school paper, and some of the articles Sam wrote wouldn't fly at all. The thing is, there's a difference between just stating facts and stating facts but adding something in the phrasing or the content that leads to a conclusion that's not good at all. Editorializing and sensationalizing are not cool unless you're writing a column. Because she wrote for her school paper's blog, I guess it can sort of count as a column so what she did was probably as close to libel without actually being libel.

That said, the plot was interesting. It took me awhile to guess who might have done it, although the clues were planted early on. That's the mark of a good mystery.

The strange thing is even though Sam annoyed me a lot throughout the book, I'm actually looking forward to reading more books in the series.

Thanks to NetGalley and Zonderkidz for the e-ARC. Publication date of Samantha Sanderson At the Movies is on May 1, 2014.


  1. The mystery is well-conceptualized.
  2. It's a kid's novel but adults can enjoy it as well.
  3. The plot is interesting.

  1. Sam can be annoying and selfish.

"It's hard to balance everything you want to do, and everything you're good at, but sometimes you have to choose."

  1. You like mysteries.
  2. Your child dreams of becoming like Nancy Drew.
  3. You're looking for a young Christian heroine your daughter can possible relate to. 



Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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