Something is Bugging Samantha Hansen by Nancy Viau, illustrated by Julia Mills

 Something is Bugging Samantha Hansen by Nancy Viau, illustrated by Julia Mills, Published by Schiffer Kids, 9780764357763, 2019

Format: Hardcover, 184 pages

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

What did you like about the book? Samantha is a fourth grader who loves science and creating lists.  She is especially excited when her teacher informs the class that they will be studying insects, more specifically, bees.  To her dismay the previously planned field trip to a local apiary may be cancelled as it is up for sale.  Her former best friend, Kelli, is hanging out with Ling and not her, causing no end of grief.  All these unforeseen events make if harder for Samantha to control her temper.  Can she save the bees, her friendship, or will she find a new friend?  The plot is simple and easy to follow with large font and plenty of white space.  The angst felt by Samantha at possibly losing her best friend is easily relatable for children around this age.  Young readers who struggle with communication skills may also relate with Samantha.  Fun facts about insects abound and are sure to enrapture future entomologists.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  The plot moves well and is predictable.  Samantha’s narration is descriptive and direct, yet lacks nuance.  Supporting characters are not well developed.  

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers in grades 3 and up who enjoy insects and realistic fiction, or readers who enjoyed Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in her Head, may enjoy this title.

Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for upper elementary or public libraries that need fictional books about insects or young relationships.  

Where would you shelve it? Realistic Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  I feel that this title would reside near the middle of the “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: November 11, 2020

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