Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies

Title: Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies
Author: Jordan Jacobs 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date: October, 2012
Genre/Format: Mystery-Realistic Fiction/Novel
Goodreads Summary: A legendary ghost, an ancient treasure, a mystery only Samantha Sutton can solve.
     What happens when Indiana Jones meets Nancy Drew? You get Samantha Sutton, twelve year-old archeology buff with sharp wit and an insatiably curious personality. SAMANTHA SUTTON AND THE LABYRINTH OF LIES is the incredible page-turner about a young girl from California who is given the chance to follow her archeologist uncle to the excavation of an ancient Peruvian temple.
     What she doesn’t expect, though, is the legend haunting this ancient site. When important artifacts begin to disappear overnight, Samantha must navigate the disapproving eye of her uncle’s acerbic assistant, the bungling boyishness of her annoying big brother, and the ever-present stories swirling among the locals of the hysterical spirit that wanders through the town late at night. Using her keen sensibility and her knack for mapping the unknown passageways of Chavín de Huántar, Samantha uncovers a mystery far bigger than she could have ever imagined. This is a novel for children (and adults!) who love history, mystery, and heart-stopping plot-twists
What I Think: Just as promised, Samantha Sutton is Nancy Drew meets Indiana Jones. I love Samantha and love that she makes smart cool. I am also so glad to see archaeology play a role in a book. This is the second book from Sourcebooks that I read that had a great, strong female protagonist and dealt with a very smart topic that too often isn't found in our children's literature. Along with an adventurous journey, this book specifically will spark interest in the reader about archaeology and history. Samantha is hopefully going to be a series, so I look forward to her next installment. 
     I do want to say that there were only 3 things that hindered me from giving this book 4 stars: 
1) Too often the Spanish was not translated and I got confused. I think that children would be even more confused. I wish there'd just been a translation dictionary in the back or footnotes or something. 
2) I figured out the mystery long before it was revealed :( I wish I hadn't but I did and because of that, the ending seemed to take forever to get to. Now, I don't think middle grade students will figure it out as easily, so that is a plus. 
3) Adam's research seems very teen to me, while the rest of the book seems middle grade. Sharing what the research is would be a spoiler, but if you read it let me know if you agree. 

Read Together: Grades 5 to 8
Read Alone: Grades 6 to 10
Read With: The Wright Three (series) by Blue Balliett, Mira's Diary by Marissa Moss 
Mentor Text for: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Making Inferences, Making Predictions
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you were included in something even though you were very young - Did someone believe in you? Did someone think you were mature enough? Did someone trust you enough? Explain the situation and how that made you feel. 
Topics Covered: Archaeology, Peru, Incas, Artifacts, Spanish, History, Art
I *heart* It: 

**Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing a copy the book to review**

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