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The Book of Samuel
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The Book of Samuel

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Samuel Gerard is just your average teen: he hangs out at the bike jumps or at the mall with his friends, finds creative ways to avoid schoolwork, and repeatedly asks his parents questions that he knows have no answer. But when his dad leaves on a quest to ‘save the world,’ Samuel’s life takes a turn – a big turn.

Starting the day after his father leaves, Samuel finds himsel...more
Paperback, 261 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellWivenhoe Park by Ben VendettaGoing Over by Beth KephartIt Lives in The Basement by Sahara FoleyThe Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford
The 1980s are back!
29th out of 31 books — 16 voters
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellClass of '98 by A.L. PlayerGoose by Dawn O'PorterForgive Me If I've Told You This Before by Karelia Stetz-WatersThe Future of Us by Jay Asher
2010s YA Fiction Set in the 1980s or 1990s
46th out of 54 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

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Samuel and his friends don't like the Mexican kids. They're always harassing them and one day the Mexican kids stole their expensive bikes. Jonathon and Jesse had enough and they are out for revenge. Samuels dad spends morning, noon and night reading and studying the Bible. He starts to think that he can save the world and one day, he leaves the family to do just that.
Samuel's mom is depressed and cries all the time, his Grandma hates everyone. Samuel's friends decide they need to do something a...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Samuel Gerard and his friends Jonathon and Jesse are out to get the Mexicans. According to the three friends, the Mexicans have stolen their bikes for the last time. It's time for revenge.

At least that's what used to occupy Samuel's thoughts. Now things are looking a bit different. When your father quits his teaching job and starts living in a tent in the backyard and reading nothing but the Bible, things don't look quite the way th...more
This novel made me feel young again (not an easy task).

It made me feel how exilerating, confounding, humiliating and oddly funny it is to be young and growing up in America. It's gipping, wry, and a delight, not only for its characters and moving plot, but also for Raschke's great ability to draw large pictures by using just the tiniest of details.

Raschke pulls us into and through an adolescene on the verge of a cliff: a boy trying to make sense of his fractured world, to "do the right thing" an...more
Ms. Bayer
Couldn't put it down until it was done. Beautiful, funny, frightening, hopeful. Can't wait to meet up with the author later this month.
Leslie (That Chick That Reads)
This book journey’s through the young life of Samuel Gerard. He hangs out with his friends, loves to go out and bike ride, experiences his first kiss, among many other things. This book is actually quite interesting! There were times that I laughed out loud, others where I shed tears and many where the thing he said just brought a smile to my face. I could totally relate to Samuel! His character is just so honest and you know as a kid, one battles with what’s wrong or right. There was a lot of r...more
Alexander Tavarez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rating up Above: 2
Actual rating: 2.5

This book is an attempt to write about the darker side of humanity, including racial prejudices, familial issues, and peer pressure. I see that. And I do congratulate Raschke for trying to address so many conflicts in one book. But, it just became too much, and the potential it had was finished.

This book simply went too many places at once. There was plot threads that went nowhere, confusing symbolism, and characters that just didn't make sense. But once you p...more
Jennifer Bono
This book has really made a positive impression on me. The characters are very easy to sympathize with and the story is so captivating that I read the entire book in one sitting- which I have never done with any piece of literature.

Throughout my reading, I laughed at how the boys got into ridiculous situations, was agitated when the bullies showed up, and even cried when the book focused on the main character's tumultuous and transitional home life.

I really can't rave enough about this book. I...more
Not being that Bible-literate, I have no idea how closely this Book tracks that Book of Samuel, but I'll bet that the heavy religious overtones create quite the controversy. This story of a boy (Samuel) growing up in Denver, with a father who has "found religion" (enough to leave the family and go off to preach the Word of the Lord), a mother suffering physically from the after-effects of polio, and the encroachment of Mexicans on his lower class American life has something to get under everyone...more
This book is an intresting book, this is about a normal ordinary kid named Sammuel. Basically Sammuel's life changes sooooooo much because first his dad has this weird dream that he wants to save the world sooo he leaves on his journey to save the world. Then there's his mom well his mom is just acting really wierd she acts like a perfect person basically and then there's Sammuel well Sammuel became a very popular yet brave kid. Like he kissed the hottest girl in school & now he's going to f...more
Samuel is a character who brings me back to my childhood--his struggles and inner turmoil draw the reader in. I did not care for the struggle with the Mexicans...I simply could not relate to that portion. Samuel's life is filled with issues about his father, his friends, and his code of ethics. I was cheering for him even when I didn't connect!
I won an ARC of this book in the first reads giveaway. I REALLY didn't like this book! The beginning was so boring that it was almost as bad as reading a beginner reader book. It started to get a little bit better, but then it just ended very strangely. Maybe I just don't get it.
*Won this in a First Reads Giveaway*

I can't really rate this book because I couldn't actually finish it. I tried, it just wasn't what I thought it would be. I believe I've probably abandoned it forever now. I'll offer it up for swap. Maybe someone else will like it more than I did.
Jan 06, 2011 Spring added it
Fascinating parallels of conflict on different levels--familial, societal, internal.

Great first book, Erik! And a blast to recognize so vividly places and events from our childhood.
I liked this a lot. The impressions of the early 1980s from Samuel's POV were great. A tough, sad, sweet book. Give to those who liked Part-time Indian.
Ok. Good sense of place, good voice… but the characterization and random violence consistently took me out of the story.
Ellen-alinda Verhoeff
Wonderful new book. Funny, authentic and heartwarming. I love the main character and the way he deals with the world. READ!
Juan Manuel
Novela de iniciación que a veces engancha y a veces no.
Cheyenne marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2014
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Jun 06, 2014
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Erik Raschke attended Earlham College and The City College of New York, where he received his Masters in Creative Writing. He has lived in Germany, Northern Ireland, Armenia, and currently resides in Amsterdam.
More about Erik Raschke...
The Book of Samuel: A Novel

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