Friday, April 26, 2019

Review: Sam Wu Is Not Afraid Of Sharks by Katie & Kevin Tsang

by Katie & Kevin Tsang
Illustrated by Nathan Reed
Sterling Children's Books
Middle Grade Humor / Graphic Novel
240 pages

Brilliantly funny new young series about the bravest scaredy-cat in the world Sam Wu is NOT a scaredy-cat (except when he is). And when a shark TOTALLY tries to eat him at the local aquarium, he decides he's not going to take any more chances. So at his friend's birthday party at the beach, Sam refuses to dip even a toe in the water. Nothing could go wrong now, could it?


I've become a Sam Wu fan. Ridiculousness, over-imagination, wonderful friendship, and learning to beat fears come together for a hilarious ride.

After conquering his fear of ghosts, Sam Wu learns he's afraid of something else—sharks. Thanks to an eventful trip to the aquarium, he's come to realize how dangerous sharks can be. Deadly dangerous! So when his friends invite him to their birthday at the beach, he's in a tight space. He has to go; they're his best friends. But the ocean has sharks, and he's not about to let himself get eaten by one. Let alone his friends.

Graphic novels are simply high on my children's reading lists, especially ones which hit a humorous note. This book definitely does this. Sam Wu is around ten years old and has quite the imagination. He's not exactly a quiet kid either. His fears—although over the top—aren't really that far out there and readers do sympathize...even if they aren't as extreme about it as he is. But that's what makes this funny. He is extreme, but not in a bad way. He's also very concerned about those around him. And them about him.

The illustrations and direct, non-fancy wording make this a treat. Every page holds tension and surprises. It's hard not to laugh out loud at some spots and shake the head at others. Especially reluctant readers will enjoy this one.

And here they are...

Katie and Kevin Tsang met while studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Same Wu Is Not Afraid of Sharks is their second joint novel, and the second book in the Sam Wu series. Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts came out in 2018. Some of Same Wu's experiences are based on Kevin's own childhood. He works as a healthcare technology consultant. Katie writes YA as Katherine Webber. Katie and Kevin live in London and are available for interview.

Visit Katie at Follow her on Twitter at @kwebberwrites and on Instagram at @kwebberwanders. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @kevtsang and on Instagram at @kevgtsang.

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