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A Sam & Friends Mystery Book One

by Mary Labatt & illustrated by Jo Rioux

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-55453-418-0
Publisher: Kids Can

Samantha’s no ordinary sheepdog; she has a nose for a mystery. When her people move her to boring old Woodford, she’s sure nothing exciting will ever happen to her again. However, when Jennie, the girl next door, is hired to walk Sam, the two find out that Jennie can hear Sam’s thoughts. Joined by Jennie’s friend Beth, they investigate the reclusive Mr. McIver, who never leaves his spooky house. Imaginations kick into overdrive when Jennie sees what looks like a monster through Mr. McIver’s window. Based on Spying on Dracula (2000), the first of an eight-book series of mysteries featuring former early-reader star Sam the puppy, Sam and Jennie’s graphic adventures have likely only just begun. Canadian Labatt’s story adapts well to the graphic form. Rioux’s manga-influenced black-and-white illustrations will engage reluctant readers and graphic fans alike, and readers of Elizabeth Levy’s Something Queer and Fletcher Mysteries series will eat this up. With only the mildest of chills and a thoroughly endearing protagonist, this is recommended for most graphic-fiction collections serving active young readers. (Graphic fiction. 7-11)