Books by David Kooharian

SAMMY'S STORY by David Kooharian
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

A little boy who dies in these pages, done in the muscular, panel-and-word-balloon comic-book style of a graphic novel. Readers meet Sammy just as he falls off to sleep. Three guys come to take him to the battle-scarred General, who needs Sammy to rescue his favorite stuffed animal from the terrible Zargon. Sammy explains he can't walk and has his own battle scars from many tests and procedures at the hospital. Nevertheless, Sammy rescues Dewdrop and defeats Zargon, by announcing he isn't scared of him. Then another guy comes along to bring Sammy to a place where he can walk and play again, but Sammy insists on saying good-bye to his parents first. The last panel shows Sammy in his hospital bed with his parents at his side: ``And then he left them, and the pain.'' Readers will understand Kooharian's expression of naked loss, but the shifts from dreamtime to reality are awkward and will be deeply confusing to children. ClichÇs and goopy sentiments only make the life-and-death issues more perplexing: ``It is very difficult to be a human being. It takes great courage, which you have, but there are many people who don't. For them life is harder than it needs to be.'' (Picture book. 6-10) Read full book review >