Samantha Spinner Series by Russell Ginns: Review & Giveaway

March 29, 2019 Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 6

Samantha Spinner Series by Russell Ginns: Review & Giveaway

Samantha Spinner Series by Russell Ginns: Review & GiveawaySamantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans by Russell Ginns
Illustrator: Barbara Fisinger
Series: Samantha Spinner #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on February 27, 2018
Genres: Middle Grade, Contemporary Fantasy
Pages: 208
Source: The Publisher, Blog Tour
My content rating: MG (Some minor, MG-level violence)
My rating:
4 Stars

Get ready for round-the-world adventure with Sam Spinner and her brother Nipper in the first book in a new hilarious, puzzle-packed series filled with super-secret messages! Perfect for fans of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library and classics like Holes.

Samantha Spinner's uncle Paul disappeared, and here's what he left:
* Samantha's sister got a check for $2,400,000,000.
* Samantha's brother got the New York Yankees.
* And Samantha got a rusty red umbrella with a tag hanging off its worn handle. The tag says "Watch out for the RAIN."

Thanks a lot, Uncle Paul.

After all the strawberry waffles, stories, and puzzles they've shared, how could he just leave without saying goodbye? And what is the meaning of that mysterious message?

The answer is simple. Sam knows in her heart that Uncle Paul is in danger. And if he taught her anything, it's that not everything is exactly what it seems. Which is why we should pay close attention to that rusty red umbrella, and never trust a monkey at a hula-hoop contest.

The RAIN is coming and Samantha Spinner is about to find herself mixed up in some super-important, super-dangerous, super-secret plans.

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My Take copy3

This first book in the Samantha Spinner Series introduces us to Samantha and her wacky family. Her dad is a lightbulb expert, her mom is a lizard veterinarian, her older sister Buffy is a fashion-obsessed shopping machine, and her little brother Nipper is just an annoying little brother–who loses stuff a lot (and knows a lot of random facts). But strangest of all is Uncle Paul, who goes missing at the very beginning of the book. He leaves behind amazing presents for Buffy and Nipper–and a red umbrella for Samantha. As you can imagine, Samantha’s pretty sure she got a raw deal. Until she discovers that the umbrella is actually a map that leads to a super secret transportation system … and a whole lot of adventure.

The book is zany in so many over-the-top ways. Sometimes it’s a bit nonsensical, but it’s always fun. Ginns’ creativity knows no bounds, and I loved how he tied in real-world landmarks and then tied them to his crazy, super secret society. Kids will actually learn a whole lot about the world as Samantha and Nipper travel, but it never feels like learning because there’s always some crazy scenario attached. Plus, the book is packed with puzzles and riddles, some of which you don’t even realize are there until the very end. Sometimes the characters feel a bit like caricatures (especially Buffy, who spends her 2.4 billion in really weird and unresponsible ways–the mom in me cringed at that), but they’re definitely entertaining. My only complaint about the writing is that it’s told in omniscient POV, which just isn’t my favorite, and I think the head-hopping might confuse kids (sometimes it even threw me).

This book was education wrapped in pure entertainment–a definite winning combination!


Samantha Spinner Series by Russell Ginns: Review & GiveawaySamantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs by Russell Ginns
Illustrator: Barbara Fisinger
Series: Samantha Spinner #2
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on March 12, 2019
Genres: Middle Grade, Contemporary Fantasy
Pages: 416
Source: The Publisher, Blog Tour
My content rating: MG (Some mild, MG-level violence)
My rating:
4 Stars

In her first adventure, Samantha discovered that the old umbrella her Uncle left her when he went missing holds the plans for a super-secret network of transit systems that covers the globe.

But Uncle Paul is still missing. And Samantha just received a new gift from him: a pair of strange purple sunglasses. Are they another powerful present? A clue to his whereabouts? Or just a bad fashion choice? Samantha and Nipper need to figure it out fast, because . . . here comes the SUN!

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My Take copy3

Book two picks up right where the first book left off with Samantha trying to unravel the new clues her uncle has left for her. She thought she’d rid herself of the bad guys who were searching for her umbrella, but she soon discovers that there are many more. This time she’s being pursued by evil pancake-wielding clowns with ultra-sensitive noses (yep, you read that right). As you can imagine, craziness ensues.

I loved that we got to know Samantha’s big sis Buffy a little more in this book (she’s still a caricature, but I don’t think kid readers will mind that one bit since she’s hilariously ridiculous). Also, we got to explore some new locales with Samantha and Nipper: Peru, Mali, and New York City. And the creative transportation systems that Ginns came up with are still star players in the story as well (Ginns based many of them on actual proposed transportation systems and he imagines what they would be like if implemented–in a crazy way). The book continues to weave real-life history and technology into the story in entertaining and creative ways!

This book is a lot longer than the first one (about double), so it’s possible it might be a bit harder for some of the younger readers who were probably drawn to the series to follow along. But the issue with head-hopping is solved in this book (each character’s POV gets its own chapter), so it’s easier to follow in that way. I think these could be read as standalones, but they’d be more fun read together.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that both books have adorable illustrations sprinkled throughout. This series is perfect for kids who like to laugh their way through loony adventures!

I’ll be interested to see what Ginns has in store for book three!

***Disclosure: I received these books from the publisher via Rockstar Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

About The Author

Russell Ginns is a writer and game designer who specializes in puzzles, songs, and smart fun. He has worked on projects for a wide variety of organizations, corporations, and publications, including Sesame Workshop, Girl Scouts of America, Nintendo, and Scientific American. Russell lives and writes in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans and Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs.

Author Links:
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3 lucky winners will win a finished copy of SAMANTHA SPINNER Series, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

3/25/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review
3/25/2019- BookHounds YA– Excerpt

3/26/2019- Lone Tree Reviews– Review
3/26/2019- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

3/27/2019- Nerdophiles– Review
3/27/2019- For the Love of KidLit– Spotlight

3/28/2019- Brooke’s Library– Review
3/28/2019- Literary Gold– Spotlight

3/29/2019- Feed Your Fiction Addiction– Review
3/29/2019- Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers– Excerpt

 

Week Two:

4/1/2019- Rhythmicbooktrovert – Review
4/1/2019- Kelly P’s Blog– Excerpt

4/2/2019- Christen Krumm, Writer– Review
4/2/2019- ❧Defining Ways❧– Excerpt

4/3/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review
4/3/2019- The Hermit Librarian– Excerpt

4/4/2019- Savings in Seconds– Review
4/4/2019- Twirling Book Princess– Excerpt

4/5/2019- Two Points of Interest– Review
4/5/2019- Dazzled by Books– Excerpt

 

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