Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Welcome in Fall with a Good Book - Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Spiders (Review)

 Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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This past summer my youngest daughter got hooked on the "Sam Wu" book series by Katie and Kevin Tsang.  It ended up being a book chosen for the book club for kids for June.  As soon as she started to read the book, she was hooked, and couldn't put the book down.  She ended up reading the book in one sitting, and wanted me to bring her to the library to get more of the books in the series to read.  And, before the end of the summer, she had read all but this book, "Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Spiders," which always seemed to be taken out. While speaking with the librarian, I found that this was a really popular book with kids, especially reluctant readers, because the illustrations and funny story lines.

So, when it came to planning my annual "Welcome in Fall with a Good Book" feature, I knew I wanted to include one of the "Sam Wu" books for parents who may not be aware of this fun series for kids.  Before I share my thoughts on this book, here is a little about this book, which was released earlier this year in March...

More about this book:

"The brilliantly funny fourth book in the SAM WU series, starring the bravest scaredy-cat in the world! Perfect for reluctant readers and fans of Tom Fletcher, Pamela Butchart and Humza Arshad's Badman.

Sam Wu is NOT afraid of anything. Well, maybe some things. Like ghosts, sharks . . . the dark's pretty worrying too. And not to mention SPIDERS! But Sam's not going to let anyone know. And so when Tulip, the school tarantula, disappears from her cage, Sam decides it's up to him and his friends to save the school from the eight-legged escapee . . .

Common childhood fears dealt with in a hilarious, sensitive and accessible way."

Pub Date: 3/10/2020

ISBN: 9781454937364

Price: $12.95 / $17.50 CAN

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 224 pages, b-w illus. throughout

Trim: 5 x 7.4 Inches

Territories: US/Can

Category: Juvenile / Middle Grade Fiction

Age Range: 7 to 12


This is the fourth book in the "Sam Wu" series and ended up being my daughter's favorite. She has read this book a few times since we received a review copy from the publisher a few weeks ago.  She read it the first time in under and hour, and then read it again with a friend who ended up picking up the book after my daughter raved about it.  They then had a book club and did their own alternative ending and learn to draw type activities to go along with the book discussion.

When I asked my daughter why she liked this book and the series as a whole, she said the jokes are really funny, as are the characters.  She likes how Sam tries to prove to Ralph and others that he isn't afraid of things, including spiders.  She also likes how Sam is best friends with his little sister, Lucy, and how Lucy is usually by his side to help prove to others he isn't scared of things, as well as help him with the plans he comes up with to save the day.  

The black and white illustrations that fill the pages of this book really do a great job at bringing the story to life, and keeping kids engaged, and wanting to flip the pages and see what happens next.  Once you start reading a "Sam Wu" book, my daughter says, it is really hard to stop, as you want to see how the story ends.  If you have a reluctant reader, or a child who likes stories with funny one liners, and haven't read this book series, I highly recommend this book and the "Sam Wu" book series.


About the Authors:

Katie and Kevin Tsang met in in 2008 while studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since then they have lived on three different continents and traveled to over 40 countries together. They currently live in London.

Kevin was born in Copenhagen and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Some of Sam Wu's experiences are based on Kevin's childhood (he's feeling much more confident now). Katie was born and raised in Southern California. She has previously worked at Booktrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity, and also writes YA fiction as Katherine Webber.

Additional "Sam Wu" books by Katie and Kevin Tsang:

Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of Ghosts 9781405287517
Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of Sharks 9781405287524
Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of the Dark 9781405287531

 Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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