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Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs by Russell Ginns
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Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs: 09/23/21

Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs

Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs by Russell Ginns is the second book in the middle grade adventure series. Along with her map umbrella, Samantha now has a special pair of purple tinted glasses. They help her spot hidden clues near the entrances to things marked on the umbrella. She hopes that together she can find Uncle Paul.

Samantha and her brother Nipper have a message from Uncle Paul: watch out for the SUN. Is it a clue to finding him or a warning of new troubles on the horizon?

In Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans, Samantha and Nipper became a well oiled team over the coarse of the book. Each had skills they brought to the puzzle solving table. In this volume, the siblings seem to backtrack both in terms of individual skills and in their ability to cooperate.

Because the two siblings aren't cooperating as well as they had been they miss a couple obvious clues. Missing these clues results in them heading off in the wrong direction, meaning there could have been an entirely different novel here.

There's also a weird interlude where the siblings spend time with their eldest sister. She's now living in New York and is in the process of putting on a very strange sounding play. New York is complex enough of a place, I expected the novel to focus the adventures in the Big Apple. That's not what happens because that adventure is foiled by the siblings' lack of communication.

Although the adventures were more misadventures, the siblings' travels do sit on the Road Narrative Spectrum, just as the first book does.

Chart showing the progression between the two books on the road narrative spectrum.

As the ultimate goal is set in New York City and involves the siblings and their parents, the traveler this time is the family (33). The destination is once again the city (00). The route is once again the the railroad (or the super secret highway of transportation the kids have been exploring).

The third book is Samantha Spinner and the Boy in the Ball (2020).

Four stars

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