Skipper: Friend or Foe? A Distracting Mystery within Life’s Traumatic Events by Kellie Sanchez

Skipper: Friend or Foe? A Distracting Mystery within Life’s Traumatic Events by Kellie Sanchez is a wonderful tale for preteens. It touches upon the emotional themes of children coping with an ailing parent in the family, adjusting to their new surroundings and finding an adventure in mundane things.

Skipper: Friend or Foe?
A Distracting Mystery within Life’s Traumatic Events
Outskirts Press, 148 pages

The cover is lovely and conveys the imagery of friendship, fun and love for animals. Indeed, a very engaging aspect of the book for the young readers is that pets and animals play an important part in the story. I enjoyed the pace at which this book moves, engaging the reader with a mystery and not overburdening the narrative. One may argue against the simple plot but Skipper: Friend or Foe? works fine for the young readers.

Michael, the thirteen-year-old boy is caught in an emotional turmoil as he learns about his mother’s ailing condition. He tries hard at adjusting to this changed familial situation by taking care of his mother, helping in the household chores while the father is away for work. Dad had wanted Michael to play the part of ‘man-of-the-house’ in his absence. Initially, this had filled Michael with a sense of pride at Dad’s confidence in him but gradually the feeling worn out.

Jennifer the nine-year-old younger sister of Michael, however, is unable to adjust; her coping mechanism has turned her into an extremely clingy child. Though Michael is as much a child requiring love, attention and playtime, there is hardly anything to come by his side. Michael is constantly reminded of the happier times when his mother turned the smallest of occasions into celebrations. His now clingy and gloomy sister was always laughing and cheerful. And, his playful Dad was now always gloomy.

Besides, Michael is adjusting to living in the countryside. He is unaware of the place and people. One day when he returns home, Michael’s mom introduces him to Samantha aka Sam, the eleven-year-old girl from the neighbourhood. Though there may not be an instant connect as Sam is a country girl, riding a horse; the two children have one common thread, they have seen the same dog in different scenarios whom they had tried to trace individually but couldn’t.   

Can this mysterious-ever-vanishing dog bring the much-needed fun and adventure in Michael’s life?

“What should we call him? How about Skipper, because he keeps skipping town?” Sam asked, giggling at her own joke. Rolling his eyes, Michael said, “Sure, why not. I guess the first thing we need to do is gather information about golden retrievers.”

I think Michael’s character is quite adorable; he is responsible, loving and caring. He may not quite be the Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn but then he tries to have small adventures within the restrictions of perimeter for exploring the neighbourhood, reaching home on time and sharing the responsibility of household chores.

Kellie Sanchez has incorporated the sensitive subject of children coping with an ailing parent beautifully, bringing out the stress and behavioral changes in them. Even though, it seems a sad premise for young reader’s book but it is rather heartwarming.

About the Author

Kellie Sanchez was first published as a freshman in high school. She now teaches English at Nowata High School in Nowata, Oklahoma. She has several certifications and degrees in English, Education, and Business Administration. She has worked with and around children for the past 20 years. She encourages reading with her students as fundamental to a good education. Writing has always been a passion and she uses this passion to help the next generation with difficult life situations.

As a teacher for twenty years, Kellie Sanchez has witnessed a lot of family tragedies. By writing Skipper: Friend or Foe? A Distracting Mystery within Life’s Traumatic Events, Sanchez hoped to help preteen boys experiencing all types of difficult situations.

Link to purchase the book at Amazon

was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

2 thoughts on “Skipper: Friend or Foe? A Distracting Mystery within Life’s Traumatic Events by Kellie Sanchez”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s