Samantha Sanderson Off The Record by Robin Caroll {Tween Fiction Review}

Samantha Sanderson, Book 3
Juvenile Fiction (ages 8-12)


Is an independent, resourceful, high-tech cheerleader. She dreams of becoming an award-winning journalist like her mother, so she's always looking for articles she can publish in her middle-school paper (where she secretly hopes to become editor in chief). And with a police officer for a father, Sam is in no short supply of writing material.


When the school's grades are tampered with, Samantha Sanderson must enlist her best friend Makayla's help in hacking the system to discover the virus that was used and who committed the crime. But when the lead suspect is her newfound friend, Felicia, Sam must choose whether to stick by her friend at all cost or report the story as she sees it.

My Thoughts

Samantha Sanderson Off The Record is book three in Robin Caroll's tween fiction series and I am liking the developing story lines more and more. The books are targeted at the eight to twelve-year-old and I think they hit the mark. 

Samantha and her BFF, Makayla, are smart girls with kind hearts but they also have flaws that make the stories relatable to the intended audience. In Off The Record the entire student body is awaiting their report cards. Unfortunately when the cards arrive there are big problems. Every single student at the middle-school has messed up grades. It is quickly determined that the computer system must have a virus. But who infected the system, and why? Of course this is breaking news and Samantha is quick to jump on it. That leads to even more animosity with the school paper's editor and arch nemesis of Samantha, Aubrey Damas. 

In each of the Samantha Sanderson books there is a specific Scripture reference that the author focuses on. This one is Matthew 22:39, "Love your neighbor as yourself." It was nice to see Samantha not only learn to apply it to her literal next door neighbor, but also to those around her.

One of the reasons that I have enjoyed these books is the fact that they don't dumb down the information for the reader. This book has a lot of computer information that the average person probably doesn't know. But the dialogue is written in a way that the reader can learn about and understand what is going on. What a bonus . . . reading for fun and knowledge!

If you have a tween girl I think you should take a look at not only this book but the entire series. Technically the books can be read as stand-alone titles but if your girl intends to read them all it would be better to read them in order because there is a bit of the story-line that continues through each individual novel. 

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