Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Samantha Hansen is a spunky ten-year-old naturalist, who loves, loves, loves rocks. She lives with her mother, who designs birthday cards and feeds the family weird kinds of birthday cake on a daily basis, and a teenage sister, whose secret belly button piercing sets off the metal detector at the airport. Sam spends most of her time making lists about rocks and other natural phenomena,  trying to control her temper as she deals with an oh-so annoying older sister, and gathering snippets of information about her father, who has passed away. 

This is a fun, fairly light, read about a girl who loves science. There's lots of "rock information" embedded throughout the book, and I could see using the book as a read aloud during a unit on geology, or a unit on the Grand Canyon. Sam is a consummate list maker, and I could also see myself sharing the book during discussions of that genre. I do have to admit that I was a little uncomfortable with Sam's developing interest in boys- I know fourth graders are starting to care more about the opposite sex, but it's not something I encourage.

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