Sabtu, 08 September 2012

Sam's Desert Adventure, an Outstanding Young Reader Book

Sam's Desert Adventure, by Jonah Arizona, the newest young reader publication by Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc., is a sure-fire pleaser for young readers in the age range of 7 to 11. Parents will be charmed by the mischievous, endearing Sam Davenport who will remind them of their own childhoods and their own children.

Set in Arizona, the story features a young boy named Sam Davenport and his hilariously acquired mule, Bucket. Sam's older sister, Alice, adds a charming touch to the story, and Sam's elderly neighbor, Mr. Melby, helps develop this tale of youthful adventure and hard-learned lessons.

Despite Sam's engaging appeal, he is an impulsive child with a wild imagination who regularly forgets to consider the consequences of his boyish antics. Sam learns many difficult lessons the summer he acquires Bucket, but he has many exciting adventures in the process. Slowly he grows to understand that actions have consequences and that he must be accountable for those actions.

This story goes beyond Sam's boyish behavior, however, and the author shows a sensitivity and thoughtfulness in the ten-year-old that is deeply touching. Sam's friendship with his elderly neighbor, Mr. Melby, is remarkable, and Sam's compassion for his aging grandparents will tug heart strings. Even his thoughtfulness regarding his sister's feelings will bring a smile.

Not to be forgotten in this story of childhood adventure, growth, and learning, is the book's other main character, Bucket. Sam's mule is unforgettable and perhaps even more charming than Sam himself. The little mule, in her own mulish way, teaches Sam some of the most important lessons he learns. Sam's attachment to, and love for, his mule is tender and stirring. Bucket fills a void in Sam's life since he had to move away from his childhood buddy, and the mule becomes Sam's best friend and constant companion.

Sam's Desert Adventure is filled with humor, warmth, hard-learned lessons, and extremely well-drawn characters. Sam's parents are to be both envied and admired for their patience and understanding in raising a boy who will, no doubt, become a fine young man despite the trials he sometimes presents them with. Though Sam's parents are strict, there is never any doubt that their actions are motivated purely by love for their son. The relationship Sam has with his parents is warm and stable - a model for all given the challenges that Sam sometimes presents.

Highly recommended by MidWest Book Review senior reviewer, Shirley Johnson, Sam's Desert Adventure is a title that will be read again and again by parents and young readers alike.

Barbra Lee, retired teacher and sometime book reviewer.

Sam's Desert Adventure is available from the publisher, Moonlight Mesa Associates, at and from amazon. Retail 9.95. Vendor queries welcomed.

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