Sam Newsome
Lulu Publishing Services (2013)
ISBN 9781483403236
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (11/2014)

“Jackie” by Sam Newsome is a unique literary piece. The story presents humanity at its best and at its worst, from childhood to grownup when confronted with the reality of people who are not that regular. Does having special needs affect people’s rights to be treated as humans? Are the necessary social services programs in place to help to guarantee quality of life to communities special needs citizens? Is children’s cruelty at school forgotten by perpetrators and victims once grown up? These are some of the issues presented in this heartwarming, witty and entertaining literary work.

The story begins when Jimmie starts his new job working as a social service surveyor fresh out of college. The goal of the surveyor is to determine which beneficiaries were taking advantage of the system. All he needed to do was ask the questions on the questionnaire and write down the answers truthfully. It sounded easy enough, but he never anticipated re-encountering Jackie. Reuniting with Jackie would take Jimmie down memory lane to one of his less proud moments as a young boy in school facing his own guilt. His conscience allows Jimmie to uncover Jimmie’s special talent and try to make things right while unraveling a corruption within the government through the social service system.

I am just going to say it. “Jackie” by Sam Newsome is one of the best stories I have ever read. Newsome has mastered not only the art of storytelling in this book, but also the craft of writing. I could simply not put it down. I laughed, I cried, and lived each moment that the characters experienced alongside them. It is definitely a five stars (or a ten) piece of literature. I can’t wait to see what Newsome comes up with next!

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