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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Sam was tired of being bullied by Truman. Chloe, Sam’s best friend, insisted that the only way to stop the bullying was to fight back. Things didn’t go quite as she planned and Sam knew they had only made things worse. Thanks to his grandparents he knew he had a way to escape from Truman’s wrath. Sam was a very unhappy boy. His father, a Marine, was killed in the Iraq War. His mother looked sad when he asked her questions about his father, so he stopped asking. Sam never suspected his mother was keeping secrets from him: one in a trunk in a locked room and one in his grandfather’s barn. The secrets would not only change his life, but also the lives of those around him. One person whose life was changed was George, a man Sam didn’t remember though he had been Sam’s father’s best friend. The secrets Sam discovered gave back to George his hopes, dreams and fondest memories.
Being a kid isn’t easy. Sometimes as adults we forget just how difficult it was when we were growing up. Often I have heard adults wish they could go back and be a child again. I never want to. C.J. Carter has skillfully captured the struggle of a ten year old. Our main character is Sam McCormick, a ten year old boy in Atlanta.
"Junior Dragster Dreams: How Sam Found His own Ride" has many lessons within the pages. Mimi manages to break the barriers between two rivals. C. J. Carter has created realistic characters in this tale. While the story focuses on children aged 9-12, this book will appeal to a wider range of ages including adults. This is one of the first, if not the only, children’s novel about junior drag racing. Everyone has a special niche in life, and readers will be delighted to see Sam find his. The plot is interesting and well done. This book has action, chills, thrills, and bits of humor. What more could you ask for? The subject matter will appeal to both girls and boys, but especially to boys. It is often difficult to find suitable books that will appeal to boys, but this one fits the bill! I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I will be watching for more books by this author.