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  • A "Must Read" for Middle Grade Students

    Just Between Sam and Me is a wonderful new addition to a young girl's library. Is there anything worse than walking into the school building on the first day of sixth grade, hoping you've done everything you can to look your best? Olivia Martin found out the worst thing might be the new girl in town, Candace Mazare. Olivia's newest nightmare begins with a few snippy comments. How many of us didn't swallow our pride and try to ignore those? It's a small town and a small class, so it doesn't take long for the flashy Candace to garner the attention of many of the girls Olivia had called friends in the younger grades. When things that aren't supposed to be there appear in her locker and things that are supposed to be there go missing, Olivia makes the same decision, so many girls make: She ignores the friends and teachers who might be able to help her and confides only in her cat, Sam. This delightful story about small-town life in Missouri farm country will remind you of the festivals you participated in as a kid. The story begins to raise awareness from the very beginning to the plight of young girls who are too afraid to share their lack of self-esteem and bullying with anyone, much less their parents. I strongly suggest Just Between Sam and Me be read by mothers and daughters together. Our children are eager to learn how to combat bullying. The authors provide resources at the end of the book to help your child in the event he/she becomes a target. I urge every school district to make this book part of their school library. Final note: Sharing with your beloved dog or cat helps you get your feelings out, but it won't help solve the problem. It's a story of friendship, goals, family life, love of animals, and all the beautiful activities found in small-town America. I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Congrats on a great book!

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  • A delightful story

    Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite Olivia Martin had a bad dream the night before starting sixth grade, but she did not expect her entire year to become an uninterrupted nightmare. This happened because of Candace, a fashionable girl with thousands of followers on social media, who mercilessly targeted Olivia. Being shy and not very comfortable with people, Olivia began to write a journal as if she was discussing her difficulties with Sam, her orange tabby. Will Olivia be able to solve her problems with Candace before the end of the school year? Find out by reading Cat Michaels and Rosie Russell's book, Just Between Sam and Me. Whether the young reader of Just Between Sam and Me has the same problem as Olivia (but hopefully not) or is just a kid who wishes to learn more about modern youth's problems, Cat Michaels and Rosie Russell's book will be a pleasant companion. Just Between Sam and Me is well written and deals with bullying in a delicate and precise way. It also talks about the relationship of young people with animals (in addition to Sam, the cat, Olivia also has a horse), adding various situations. I love animals, and cats in particular, so it seems to me that it cannot be a coincidence that Olivia poured out her heart to Sam in her journal. A girl in trouble that confides in her cat reminded me of the beneficial relationship of young people with their four-legged friends. Just Between Sam and Me is truly a book for every sixth-grade kid.

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