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Sam I Am [Hardcover]

By Ilene Cooper (Author)
Our Price $ 13.56  
Retail Value $ 15.95  
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Item Number 157358  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.58" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.91"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2004
Publisher   Scholastic Press
Age  9-12
ISBN  0439439671  
EAN  9780439439671  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Twelve-year-old Sam, the son of a Jewish father and Christian mother, struggles to understand religion and its role in his family's life during the Hanukkah and Christmas holidays.

Publishers Description
Twelve-year-old Sam Goodman knows the holidays are going to be difficult when his dog knocks over the Hanukkah bush/Christmas tree. His Jewish father and Christian mother have never quite figured out how to celebrate both holidays, and when the tree goes down, their resentments, simmering for so long, boil over. His older sister and younger brother don't seem to have any solutions for the family's predicament; his best friend Avi seems to know who he is as he prepares for his Bar Mitzvah; his secret crush, Heather, knows who she is and who she wants to associate with.

Buy Sam I Am by Ilene Cooper from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780439439671 & 0439439671

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More About Ilene Cooper

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! For over twenty years, Ilene Cooper has been writing both fiction and nonfiction books for children, including The Golden Rule, Jack: The Early Years of John F. Kennedy, and her Absolutely Lucy series. She is also the children s book editor at Booklist."

Ilene Cooper currently resides in Chicago, in the state of Illinois.

Ilene Cooper has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Absolutely Lucy
  2. Step Into Reading - Level 3 - Quality
  3. Step Into Reading: A Step 3 Book
  4. Stepping Stone Books

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Improve our customers experience by registering for an Artisan Biography Center Homepage.

Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Children's Books > Ages 9-12 > General   [35427  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Children's Books > People & Places > Family Life > General   [2565  similar products]
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4Books > Subjects > Children's Books > People & Places > Holidays & Festivals > Christmas > Fiction   [1271  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Children's Books > People & Places > Holidays & Festivals > Jewish > Hanukkah   [82  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Children's Books > Religions > Fiction > Jewish   [217  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Book That Makes You Think  Oct 5, 2006
Barreling inside, Sam was wiping off his shoes when Ellen and Maxie appeared in front of him, both of them looking shaken to the core.
"Thank goodness you're home," Ellen said, her voice quavering. "Mom and Dad were in a car accident."

Sam I Am, by Ilene Cooper, is a story in which 12-year-old Sam Goodman must discover how his family can stay together when they practice different religions: His mother is Christian and his father is Jewish. It is a riveting novel; it makes you think about the different faiths and why they have fought against each other over the years.

One appealing aspect of the book is how middle schoolers can relate to it. Sam is just a normal 7th grader; he hangs out with friends, does his homework, and sleeps in late. Also, he has younger and older siblings, which can be a pest or a comfort to middle graders.

Another highlight of the novel is how the plot is always moving along. Whether it be going to the mall, hanging out at a party, or participating in a snowball fight, Sam is always doing something. The story flies along even faster when Sam discovers that his dad has been sent to the hospital after a car accident.

One more interesting part of the book is how it relates to the real world, talking about fights over religion from the past and in the present. When Sam learns about the Holocaust in school, he ponders why God let all those people die. He wonders why faiths are still fighting, and speculates on how he can help. Sam tries to figure out why people just can't get along.

Sam I Am is powerful realistic fiction, perfect for any kid or teenager. It truly makes someone think about different religions, and how they are related to the world today.
A warm, humorous exploration of family relationships  Dec 11, 2004
The trouble all started for twelve-year-old Sam Goodman the day the family dog, Pluto, knocked over the Hanukkah bush. With a Jewish father and a Christian mother, Sam has grown up in a family with mixed religions. Rather than learn about each religion fully, his parents decide to let their children choose their faiths when they are old enough.

After the destruction of the Hanukkah bush (his parents' compromise, created as a mixture of both of their faiths), the Goodmans decide to try something different this year. Since Hanukkah and Christmas Eve fall on the same day, a dual celebration is planned. Both grandmothers join the family for dinner and gift exchanging. Unfortunately, the evening does not go as swiftly as planned. Sam wonders what all the fuss is about religion and why people keep fighting over it.

Sam's best friend Avi is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, and Sam wonders why no one ever asked him if he wanted to be Bar Mitzvah-ed. In his confusion, he starts talking to God but finds that God doesn't answer back. Instead, Sam has to figure out the answers on his own.

Reminiscent of ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, MARGARET by Judy Blume, SAM I AM tells an important story that is common in many families today. Author Ilene Cooper uses humor and warmth to explore the relationships between Sam and his family, but she doesn't forget to also include the other trials and tribulations that typical twelve-year-olds face.

--- Reviewed by Kristi Olson (

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