Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Review: Just Between Sam and Me by Cat Michaels and Rosie Russell

 

JUST BETWEEN SAM AND ME
by Cat Michaels and 
Rosie Russell
Middle Grade Contemporary
ages 8 to 12















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!




MY TIDBITS

Chucked full of heart, this book takes on bullying, friendship, and the troubles of being a sixth grader who's determined to achieve a few of her own dreams.

Olivia loves her family, likes her horse and Sam, her cat, even more, wishes her bf were there for the first day of school, and is simply trying to figure out how to handle sixth grade. When her first day smacks her full force into the new girl, another sixth grader with city fashion and an attituded to go with it, she's determined to see the girl's best attributes and, maybe, become friends. Not only do the girl's rough cornered personality make it tedious, but a broken promise, which hampers Olivia's dream of taking her horse to the big festival at the end of the year, mutates into a never ending attack. Olivia tries her best to cope, but it's not working.

This is a wholesome, heart-filled, and simply lovely read. Set in a small town, the 'new girl' from the city...and in full city mode...hits like a steam train. Tension is guaranteed as well as more than a few sticky situations. But this is more than just a clash between urban and rural cultures. Olivia's timid and gentle nature are thrown into a situation, which she has no clue how to deal with. And I think that's what I like most about this book.

While bullying is a popular theme in middle grade literature, it often puts the main character in the position of being an outcast. With Olivia, this isn't quite true. She has a best friends, and while she does feel uncomfortable in her own skin (which 6th grader doesn't?) and might get teased at every now and then, this is by no means more than any other sixth grader faces. Until the new girl hits. The school doesn't turn against Olivia, not does she loose the love of those at her side. Her calm nature and lack of experience make her unsure how to deal. It comes across very realistic and shows a type of bullying, which tends to be more realistic than the usual cliche.

Plus, this is a good read. There are several other problems Olivia deals with and some wonderful characters. Problems come, and she needs to handle each one. It's something middle graders can easily identify with and cheer for Olivia the whole way through. There's definitely never a boring moment, either. In other words, I can recommend picking this one up.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this lovely feature, Tonja Drecker.
    Cat Michaels and I appreciate your kind review.
    ~Rosie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love how you found our tale being full of heart, Tonya. As you also mention, while we have a strong thread about struggles with bullying, we wrote our book to be full of hope. We’re glad you picked up “Just Between Sam and Me,” too -:D.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love how you found our tale being full of heart, Tonya. As you also mention, while we have a strong thread about struggles with bullying, we wrote our book to be full of hope. We’re glad you picked up “Just Between Sam and Me,” too -:D.

    ReplyDelete