New Book Release
Just Between Sam and Me by Cat Michaels and Rosie Russell
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.
Bonus Free Chapter
Additional Thoughts on Just Between Sam and Me
One of the things I loved most about Just Between Sam and Me was the detail about how totally messed-up Candace’s life truly was.
Far too often, kids suffering from bullying can’t look beyond the persona hurting them. I wish my mother had talked to me about the bullying I received as a kid. Like Olivia, I was entering that clumsy and homely stage in sixth grade. That made me an easy target for the others. They wanted to make me feel bad so they could feel better.
I remember one girl in particular who constantly found ways to antagonize me. I started playing the organ for church services in the fifth grade. (That should tell you how small the town was.) The other girl was older and was the organist every other Sunday. I mean no disrespect when I say her style was slow and methodical like the older ladies who played before us.
I was different. Mom always taught me to “lift my voice in praise.” So, I sped up the music in a dignified way and made it more joyful. The congregation began coming earlier and earlier to services when I played. At first, I played only ten minutes of preludes. Within a few months, I was up to thirty minutes. Everyone came up to me each Sunday to tell me how much they loved my music.
It didn’t take me long to realize they never went up to the other girl. Once I realized how hurt she felt, my reactions to her taunts changed. Once I started treating her with kindness, she stopped being so mean to me. Learn More About Bullying
Bonus Free Chapter
Books for Sam and Me
Our grandparents learned from stories handed down from generation to generation.
We grew up with the role models and stories that shaped our lives.
Now, it’s our turn. We need to teach our children how to react to bullies. We can do it through stories like Just Between Sam and Me and the Elle Burton series to help them understand.
Oh, and a cat, like Sam, goes a long way in comforting a child who’s hurting!
4 thoughts on “Dear Sam, There’s a New Bully in Town!”
You picked up on important themes we want readers to take away from our tale, Peggy! We hope kids will empathize with our mean girl while ”booing” her. And a pet like Sam goes a long way to comfort a child who’s hurting. As you suggest, Rosie and I would be over the moon if Olivia’s struggles open family discussions about self-esteem, body image, and bullying prevention
Thank you for adding an important story to help our kids. Do you have a discussion sheet to help parents begin the conversation?
Thank you for this beautiful piece you wrote, Peggy.
Cat and I are so happy you enjoyed our story and how you picked up on all the things we were conveying to readers.
A discussion sheet is a great idea.
Thank you again,
Please feel free to check Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals under the Books tab on this website for a copy of my discussion sheet. Good luck with your launch week!