Sammy’s hometown burned down in summer forest fires. Since the fires took his home, Sammy has developed an anger problem, which gets him into trouble at his new school. He invents a snowy, imaginary world and a friend, named Tu, in the attic of his new home to help himself heal from loss, terror, and anger. Tu helps Sammy find his way into a new life and new school, where Sammy must make friends and deal with a bully. Sammy can only make peace with these profound changes by following the smell of smoke from below the floorboards of his bedroom, where he finds a world, and himself, in flames.
Sammy’s Attic is a fresh take on perennial kid-problems, offering wisdom and a great story. It does not read as didactic or moralistic, but it does aim to teach emotional intelligence (especially to boys) by normalizing empathy, crying, restorative justice, and other aspects of well-being that masculine gender socialization often discourages.
Sammy’s Attic was primarily written for readers ages 8-13. It is intended as a stand-alone story kids will enjoy as well as a text that teachers, counselors, social workers, school administrators, and youth mentors can use in discussion with young people.