Samuel Gerard is just your average teen: he hangs out at the bike jumps or at the mall with his friends, finds creative ways to avoid schoolwork, and repeatedly asks his parents questions that he knows have no answer. But when his dad leaves on a quest to ‘save the world,’ Samuel’s life takes a turn – a big turn.
Starting the day after his father leaves, Samuel finds himself on a dizzying, often humorous series of adventures, from being covered in leeches to accidentally blowing up his friend’s garage, from cheering up his mom to supervising his feisty grandma, from making out with the most popular girl in school to a life-changing fight with school bullies. As Samuel tries to sort out the world around him, he gradually finds himself at crossroads of religion and community, family and friends, newfound love and deep-seated hatred, all of which threatens to pull apart his neighborhood – and his family. And in the end, when violence in the community comes to a frightening peak, Samuel is faced with a tough choice: let things continue on a dangerous path, or make a personal sacrifice for peace?
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Short doc on Erik Raschke, writer of the novel The Book of Samuel. Directed by Ellen-Alinda Verhoeff.
Trailer for THE BOOK OF SAMUEL by Erik Raschke. Created by Ellen-Alinda Verhoeff. Thanks to English Casting, Daniel Frankl, Thaddy Muller. Music: Kevin MacLeod.
"Samuel's fight to survive in the crosshairs of religion and racism is excruciating and poignant. Samuel will leave readers wanting to look at life with wider eyes and a more open heart." -School Library Journal
"Raschke’s first novel, a near-nostalgia piece set in 1980s Denver, deftly juggles religious fervor, family dysfunction, racial tension, and middle-school impishness. Raschke is a fine writer. He works with a palette of decidedly heavy issues but applies them with such an unfailingly light hand that Samuel’s minor and major struggles ring true. An entertaining and thoughtful story that leaves Samuel dangling on the precipice of coming-of-age." – Booklist
Erik Raschke was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, graduated from the City College of New York in creative writing, and currently lives in Amsterdam.
AR Quiz Number: 134967AR Book Level: 4.7AR Points: 10