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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Sammi Jo and the Best Rodeo Ever is a children’s fantasy book by author Dede Stockton, and the second book to chronicle Sammi Jo’s magical adventures by the seaside. Along with her new friend Screech, the sea creature who has showed her a whole new underwater world, Sammi Jo and her cousin Jake are about to embark on a new adventure with the merpeople and their beautiful sea horses, including the mythical hippocampus Natacha. Sammi Jo learns much more about the society of the merpeople as she attends their very own rodeo, and the two cultures share in each other’s magical ways as they develop friendships that will last a lifetime.
Dede Stockton has created a superb balance of highs, lows, danger, and joy in Sammi Jo and the Best Rodeo Ever. Sammi Jo is a delightful protagonist with a thirst for adventure, whom both boys and girls will enjoy following as she embarks on her next adventure. The undersea world and its numerous locations are beautifully described and brought to life in fabulous illustrations, and Stockton’s inventions such as the shell phone, translators, and the underwater breathing stones are all well thought out and fun additions to the plot. There are a lot of new characters for readers to get their heads around, but fortunately the author provides a kind of glossary at the beginning to help you keep track. All in all, Sammi Jo and the Best Rodeo Ever is a promising continuation to a series which gets better and better.