The Reappearance of Sam Webber

Jonathon Scott Fuqua

Published by Bancroft Press, 1999
ISBN 10: 1890862029 / ISBN 13: 9781890862022
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Synopsis: When eleven-year-old Sam Webber's father disappears without a trace, he and his mother are forced to relocate to a tough neighborhood, closer to her job. Unfamiliar with his surroundings and intimidated by the students of his new school, Sam recounts the sometimes frightening, sometimes delightful details of his life with touching, humorous sincerity. Living in a tiny apartment, he is forced to deal with the legacy of depression that marked his father, and threatens to envelop him. The city remains a cold and unwelcoming place to Sam until he meets Greely, an elderly black janitor at his junior high. Through this unlikely friendship, Sam begins to heal, as well as confront the racism that surrounds his community, and his life. Tracing a year in the life of an exceptional young boy, newcomer Jonathon Scott Fuqua leaves an impression that endures like a watermark. A masterfully written novel full of beautifully drawn, unforgettable characters, The Reappearance of Sam Webber is only the first from a top writer whose talented storytelling will touch every reader.

Review: Eleven-year-old Sam Webber was never very good at making friends his own age. In fact, he felt closest to his mother and father: "I always enjoyed my parents' company more than anyone else's." So Sam is devastated when, without warning, his father abandons the family. Forced to move to a poorer neighborhood of Baltimore, Sam has to adjust to a strange school, a small, squalid apartment, and recurring bouts of nervous nausea and hyperventilation. Retreating to a world of comic books and G.I. Joe figures, Sam sinks into a deep depression. It is only when he strikes up an unlikely friendship with the school janitor, Greely, that Sam begins to creep out of his shell and connect with the world again. Surrounded by Greely, his mom, and his mom's friends (the ever-jolly Junie and her curmudgeonly husband Ditch), Sam learns, in the year after his father's disappearance, how to trust again--and become a stronger Sam Webber.

Jonathon Scott Fuqua's sensitively written first novel displays a true understanding of teen depression while sending the uplifting message that it won't last forever. Nominated for the Alex Award, which was established by the American Library Association to highlight outstanding adult books for teenagers, The Reappearance of Sam Webber is an engaging, thoughtful read for both teens and parents. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Reappearance of Sam Webber
Publisher: Bancroft Press
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New
Edition: 1st - may be Reissue.

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