Review & Giveaway: Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of the Dark

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations

We are delighted to take part in the blog tour for the latest addition to the Sam Wu series, Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of the Dark.

Read on for a review of the book and a giveaway to win one of three copies.

Book Title: Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of the Dark (available here)

Authors: Katie & Kevin Tsang

Illustrator: Nathan Reed

Publisher: Egmont

Publication Date: February 2019

Most Suitable For: Years 2-4


The enormously fun Sam Wu series (perfect for the 7-9 age bracket) is back this week with the third instalment, Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of the Dark. If you’ve read Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts (reviewed here) or Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Sharks (reviewed here), you’ll already be fully aware of how DEFINITELY NOT scared Sam Wu is of frightening things, after his earlier demonstrations of absolute courage in the hairiest and scariest of moments. You’ll also know that this is just an act and that he is, of course, pretty scared of all the usual stuff that makes people feel afraid.

That’s why the invitation to go camping in the woods with his best friend Bernard brings a brand new challenge to definitely-not-scared Sam. Trying not to think too much about the darkness, the monsters, the aliens and the bears, Sam ends up heading reluctantly into the woods accompanied by his cousin Stanley and Bernard’s family.

If there is one person who is able to make any situation ten times worse for Sam, it’s classmate Ralph Philip Zinkerman the Third. As (bad) luck would have it, Ralph and his family just happen to pitch up at the same camping spot with their impressively-shaped tents (Ralph's tent looks like an actual space rocket). The only bonus is that Ralph’s twin sister Regina and her friend Zoe, who are part of Sam’s friendship group, are there too (in Regina’s super-expensive castle shaped tent), and Sam knows that strength in numbers will definitely be a good thing in the face of werewolves or UFOs. Now all that is left is to face the prospect of surviving the night in the dark, dark woods...

With scary noises, strange lights, spooky shadows and the incredibly dark patch of no-man's land (not to mention the fact that the grown-ups seem completely disinterested in taking the children seriously about all the scary stuff that might be out there), Sam and his friends are left to fend for themselves as night approaches. Can Sam overcome each frightening encounter in the dark and prove once more that he is definitely NOT afraid?

Filled with warmth and humour, these books will strike a chord with anyone who knows what it feels like to be a little more frightened then they'd like others to think. I also really enjoyed how much value Sam places on his friendships and the way that he is able to attempt to build bridges with Ralph at the end, despite their differences. The narrative’s brand of harmless humour is enhanced by the cool design features of its pages and Nathan Reed's engaging illustrations that bring a strong a visual element to the book’s humorous tone, making it a brilliantly fun addition to Year 3 & 4 classroom libraries.

The books are quick reads and do not necessarily have to be read in sequence to make sense. I’m really looking forward to the next in the series, Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of Spiders, expected later in the year.

You can order Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of the Dark online or from your local bookshop or library.

***Book Giveaway***

Thanks to the publishers at Egmont, we have three copies of Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of the Dark to give away to our followers!

To enter, simply follow @booksfortopics on Twitter and retweet the giveaway tweet between Tuesday 5th February and 11.59pm Monday 11th February 2019 (T&Cs here).


You can order Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of the Dark online or from your local bookshop or library.

Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and for providing the giveaway prizes. Remember to check out the other stops on the blog tour, too!


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