Samuel's Angel

In August of 1977, Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, died. Samuel's mother cried, and Samuel went to his room to be alone. Thus begins the first paragraph of Samuel’s Angel.

Twelve year old Samuel Jordan is a boy who lives in a shell partly of his own creation, and partly the manufacture of his lonely, isolated childhood in the mountains and fields of Virginia and Western Montana. Although Samuel is close to his brothers and sisters, he is not close in the way that he sees others interact. And one thing that Samuel longs to be able to do is tell his mother he loves her. But the thought of voicing those words leaves him cold. Samuel dreads this autumn more than any other, because he is going into junior high, and he has heard nothing but horror stories about the seventh grade. He knows his life of tranquility is over. Just prior to the end of summer vacation, he meets a girl of his own age by the name of Angelica Escalante. To his horror, she ends up in classes with him, but that isn’t the worst part. Samuel is scared of girls anyway, and this one in particular seems to want to be his friend. Samuel, unable to make normal bonds with others, is a boy without friends, but particularly female friends. Angelica’s insistence on following him around and trying to make friends is a nightmare he is not equipped to handle. From the very beginning, this union of Samuel, introverted to the point of painfulness, pessimistic about the world, poor, and lonely, and Angelica, outgoing and sweet, and able to interact in a world with adults in a way that is only a dream to Samuel, seems a terrible match. But as time rolls on, Samuel learns different. He learns that this girl, who is recovering from a serious brain tumor which could return any time, may just be the answer to his prayers. Samuel, pessimistic with no reason to be, and Angelica, optimistic in the face of all the things that have befallen her in her past, begin to understand each other, and that understanding turns into the beginnings of young love. With a “cast of characters” some of which are lovable, some despicable, and all out of Samuel’s ability to deal with, he goes through his school year with Angelica and begins to learn how to be a man.

Many of the characters in Samuel’s Angel are woven in from the real people of Jonas’s childhood, and many of the circumstances are real as well, along with all of the surroundings. Jonas himself grew up in the small farming community of Shelley, Idaho, and his relationship with this town is intimate. This shows in every page of the book. Join Jonas as he takes the reader through some of the most personal moments from his childhood and helps his protagonist, Samuel, see life anew with the help of one of the few people in the book who did not really exist, his little friend Angelica. In this wonderful slice of life, coming of age novel, you will find hopefulness in the face of great tragedy, happiness in spite of sadness, and triumph for a boy who was unable to successfully cope with the world around him.

List price: $19.95
Price: $15.95