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The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

A Novel

Book - 2018
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Born with ocular albinism, small-town eye doctor Sam Hill must finally face a past tragedy that caused him to turn his back on his friends, his hometown, and the life he'd always known--a journey that makes him realize what truly matters.
Publisher: Seattle : Lake Union Publishing, [2018].
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781503949003
Characteristics: 428 pages ; 22 cm.
Alternative Title: Extraordinary life of Sam Hill


From Library Staff

Warm-hearted, extraordinary and a fast read.

Recommended by Connie, Ferndale.

From the critics

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Feb 25, 2021

Nice story. Nothing overly complex or surprising, but well-written. The underlying theme of faith was an unexpected journey. I appreciated the devotion of the parents to Samuel and each other, and the loyalty of Sam's friends. Sam's struggle to accept himself is one that many can relate to, especially those with undesirable physical characteristics.

Nov 06, 2020

genny & fran recommendation

Aug 17, 2020

Found this book quite enjoyable. The story of how everyone's life is extraordinary. The only disappointment was that the author didn't know how to end the book, turning it into a bit of a happy-ever-after ending.

Feb 27, 2020

Two aspects of this book resonated greatly with me: the value and the compelling necessity of true friendship; and the brutality that must be endured by any child who, for one reason or another does not 'fit in'. The sad truth is that most children who are social outcasts, angry, confused or simply misunderstood are never blessed with a couple of stalwart friends who can literally save their lives. So from that standpoint, Sam was incredibly lucky; as a bonus, he even had TWO loving, supportive parents! (not the usual circumstance, as I can personally attest) So I suppose it's really a happy story.
Regrettably, a third major theme, that of Catholicism and issues of religious faith, got in the way and left me shaking my head. I understand why the book has garnered many glowing reviews but in the end, just wasn't my cup of tea.

Nov 19, 2019

Recommended by Bernie Crowe. Very unusual, albino eyes. Didn't like as much as she did.

Nov 18, 2019

I never know quite how to use this system. Please, send to one of the Olathe Libraries.

Nov 04, 2019

Great story!

Oct 27, 2019

I loved this book because I fell in love with and had so much sympathy for Sam. And it didn't hurt that this author uses the Stephen King model of short chapters. (Smile) Seriously, I know some of the moments within the book were predictable but I didn't mind. I think most would find this an enjoyable, endearing story of a boy born with a physical trait many around him found frightening....

Sep 21, 2019

This book tells the story of Sam Hill, a boy born with ocular albinism, which caused his eyes to be red. For the most part, I found The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hill to be an engaging and thought-provoking story about self-acceptance, family, and friends. I loved reading about Sam's kind and hard-working father, as well as his strong, and devout mother. Although Sam had only two friends as he was growing up, they were both keepers: Eddie, the only African American in the school, and Michaela; a nonconformist who acted out - a lot. Those four relationships were the amazing cornerstones in Sam's life and, without them, I don't think he would have had a prayer of making it through his childhood! I very much enjoyed the first three-quarters of the story, which I found to be heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. But then I felt the book started meandering, becoming a bit too soap opera-ish for me. Having said that, I still highly recommend it!

Sep 06, 2019

This is the second book in one week that I could not put down, that's akin to winning the big Lotto considering the thousands of books out there. New to this author, so if his humor comes through in other reads, I'm in. I too, was wont to put it down, great flow, well-developed cast of characters. Definitely carries prejudice and faith (as in religion) - a bit too much faith (religion) in the end for me.

I loved this and will use it: "Our skin, our hair, our eyes are simply the shell that surrounds our soul - what counts is on the inside." If you don't think you believe in a soul it still applies. In our world today it's in short supply. This read also caused me to reflect with tremendous regret the callous comments I committed to others in my youth, ignorance, spite or just speaking with thoughtfulness.

My thanks to this author for explaining how we have the eye/iris color we do have, plus the layman's explanation about detached retinas.

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