Review Blog

Mar 20 2018

Sam's surfboard showdown by Allayne L. Webster and Amanda S. Clarke

cover image

Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781742991894
(Age: 8-10) Recommended. Themes: Friendship, Competition. Sam Sumner's comfortable life changes with the arrival of a new sixth-grade student, handsome Finn Hester. Sam's the best at the weekly maths pop- quiz, regularly receiving the prized scratch'n'sniff stickers and stamps, until Finn bumps him out of first place. Finn dominates at lunchtime cricket taking five wickets and beating Sam's best score. Even in PE he kicks ten goals for his team, poor Sam feels totally intimidated.
When Finn joins Nippers, Sam's favourite activity in the whole world, he's angry. To make matters worse, Mrs Hester Finn's mother is an excellent cook and her cupcakes are better than Sam's mum's chocolate slice. When the Nipper's coach announces a special competition for all the junior club members, Sam is determined to win and so is Finn. The prize is a surfboard signed by his idol Mick Fanning.
Sam's family live in Robe, South Australia, and his dad works with the council, in environmental protection and has set up gardens with Aboriginal native plants honouring his heritage. Sam's mum is the best cook in Robe, winning prizes at the local show, she also feels threatened by the new mum in town. With touches of humour - the burping scene - and some more emotional encounters, both Sam and Finn learn some life lessons along the way. Sam's Surfboard Showdown is a quick to read relatable story suitable for those students with a high interest and lower reading age.
Rhyllis Bignell

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