A Rockstar Book Tour: The Samantha Spinner Series by Russell Ginns

For fans of middle grade adventure stories like The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Name of this Book is Secret, Samantha Spinner is the new character you’ll want to read about in this series of adventures. From the first, with what seems like an unfair inheritance from a beloved uncle (a rusty old umbrella), to the next, with another mysterious gift (purple sunglasses???), you never know what might be a clue to a fantastic trek across the globe.


samspinner blue


Author: Russell Ginns

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound | Libro.fm

Published: 27 February 2018

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, eBook

Category: Middle Grade/Mystery/Adventure

For Samantha Spinner, it just isn’t fair. Her uncle Paul disappeared, and here’s what he left:

Samantha’s sister got a check for $2,400,000,000.
Samantha’s brother got the New York Yankees.
And Samantha…got a rusty red umbrella with a tag hanging off of its worn handle. The tag says “Watch out for the RAIN.” Thanks, Uncle Paul.

Even harder for Samantha to understand is, after all the strawberry waffles they’ve shared, how could Uncle Paul leave without saying goodbye? The answer is simple. Sam knows in her heart that uncle Paul is in danger. If only he’d left a clue…

Well, if Sam’s Uncle Paul taught her anything, it’s that not everything is exactly what it seems. Which is why we should pay close attention to that rusty red umbrella, and never trust a monkey at a hula-hoop contest.

The RAIN is coming and whether she likes it or not, Samantha Spinner is about to find herself mixed up in some super-puzzling, super-dangerous, super-secret plans. And if she’s brave enough, she might just find Uncle Paul.



SS and Spectacular Specs Cover


Author: Russell Ginns

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | iBooksIndiebound | Libro.fm

Published: 27 February 2018

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, eBook

Category: Middle Grade/Thriller

Get ready for more round-the-world adventure with Samantha Spinner and her brother, Nipper, in the second book in this hilarious, puzzle-packed series filled with super-secret messages! Perfect for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and classics like Holes.

When Samantha Spinner’s uncle Paul disappeared, he left presents for his nieces and nephew. Samantha’s sister, Buffy, got $2,400,000,000. Her brother, Nipper, got the New York Yankees. Samantha got . . . a rusty old umbrella.

Wow! So unfair, Uncle Paul.

Well, it seemed unfair — until Samantha discovered that the old umbrella holds the plans for a super-secret network of transit systems that covers the globe. It’s the ticket to danger and adventure beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

But Uncle Paul is still missing. And Samantha just received a new gift from him: a pair of strange purple sunglasses. Are they another powerful present? A clue to his whereabouts? Or just a bad fashion choice? Samantha and Nipper need to figure it out fast, because . . . here comes the SUN!

Praise for Samantha Spinner and the Super Secret Plans, Book 1 in the Samantha Spinner series: 

“A winning mix of fast-paced action, fascinating facts, bathroom humor, and hidden puzzles . . . [that is] sure to please action-loving middle-grade readers.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Full of adventure and survival . . . [and with] characters [who] are likable, realistic, and well rounded . . . [Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans is] great for [readers of] series like The 39 Clues.” –School Library Journal


Excerpt from Samantha Spinner and

the Spectacular Specs


“Look here!” Samantha shouted from under the kitchen table. “Now!”

She shoved a chair out of the way with one foot to make room for her brother.

“What? Where?” said Nipper, bending down quickly.

He misjudged the height of the table and banged his head.

“That hurt,” he said, rubbing his forehead and inching in beside her. “You forgot to say duck.”

“All right,” she replied. “‘Duck.’ Now look here.” Samantha removed the purple sunglasses Uncle

Paul had given her. She put them on Nipper’s face and pointed at a table leg.

PSST?” Nipper asked.

“That’s right,” she answered, taking the glasses from him and putting them on again. Through the octagonal lenses, she saw four yellow letters glowing on the leg:






“And watch this,” she told him.

She reached out and grabbed the leg where it met the table.

“Gotcha,” said Samantha.


A section slid downward, revealing an opening. It hissed as a stream of air rushed into the hollow leg.

“Whoa,” said Nipper. “A second secret pneumatic tube.”

Samantha nodded. They had already found one pneumatic tube under the table when she’d gotten the glasses. She pointed at that hissing table leg on her right with one hand.

“Into Seattle,” she said.

She pointed at this new opening with her other hand. “Out of Seattle,” she said, and let out a big, satisfied sigh.

At long last, this was a major breakthrough.

When Samantha’s uncle Paul disappeared, he left presents for his nieces and nephew. Samantha’s sister, Buffy, got $2,400,000,000. Samantha’s brother, Nipper, got the New York Yankees. Samantha got an old rusty umbrella. Of course, it seemed terribly unfair—until Samantha started taking a closer look at things. She discovered that the umbrella was a super-secret map of the world! Samantha and her brother traveled to France, Italy, and Egypt, and defeated the RAIN—the Royal Academy of International Ninjas. They even rescued the Mona Lisa. But Uncle Paul was still missing.

Then a mysterious pair of sunglasses arrived with a note.

Watch out for the SUN.


For Samantha, this was proof that Uncle Paul was alive.

She also had a sketch of an obelisk that she’d copied from a picture she found in the Temple of Horus in Egypt. When she discovered the obelisk was a monument in New York City called Cleopatra’s Needle, Samantha suspected that Uncle Paul was alive and also in New York.

Then a message came from her older sister. Buffy had written to tell the family that she had moved to Manhattan to work on a play with help from “the famous Broadway producer Horace Temple.”

After that, Samantha knew that Uncle Paul was alive, in New York . . . and with Buffy Spinner.

Unfortunately, Samantha couldn’t get there. The magtrain she’d found with the Super-Secret Plans didn’t go to New York, or anywhere near it. Her parents promised they would visit New York after school ended in a month, and no amount of asking could make them go sooner.

So, since she couldn’t explore New York, she explored Seattle with the purple glasses.

First, she’d used them to inspect her umbrella—the Super-Secret Plans. They didn’t do anything special. She’d searched Uncle Paul’s apartment above the garage, and around the house. Nothing. Everywhere she’d stared, things turned purple, but that was it.

When she went to the mailbox at the end of her street, she’d found her first clue. She stared at the outside of the box through the glasses and saw glowing yellow letters just like the ones on the legs of her kitchen table:


But that was a dead end, too. Next, she’d spent days searching the secret magnetic railway station beneath the mailbox. She’d found nothing. She’d doubled down and explored every wall, floor, and object in their house. Still no clues.

Why did Uncle Paul have to be so mysterious about everything? And why didn’t he just come home?

Which had brought her back to the kitchen table, where she’d received the glasses in the first place.

“We’re going to find Uncle Paul now,” she told Nipper. “I’m sure of it.”

Samantha took out a slip of paper and scrawled a note with a pen.


Where are you?

She stuffed the note into the opening in the “out of Seattle” leg. A gust of air caught it, and it shot down and out of sight.

Excerpt copyright © 2019 by Russell Ginns. Published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.



About the Author



Russell Ginns is a writer and game designer who specializes in puzzles, songs, and smart fun. He has worked on projects for a wide variety of organizations, corporations, and publications, including Sesame Workshop, Girl Scouts of America, Nintendo, and Scientific American. Russell lives and writes in Washington, D.C.

He is the author of Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans and Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs. To learn more about him, visit samanthaspinner.com and follow @rginns on Twitter.


Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Website



Giveaway Details


3 lucky winners will win a finished copy of SAMANTHA SPINNER Series (US Only)


A Rafflecopter Giveaway




Tour Schedule


Week One:


Lifestyle of Me – Review

BookHounds YA – Excerpt


Lone Tree Reviews – Review

A Dream Within A Dream – Excerpt


Nerdophiles – Review

For the Love of KidLit – Spotlight


Brooke’s Library – Review

Literary Gold – Spotlight


Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Excerpt

Week Two:


Rhythmicbooktrovert – Review

Kelly P’s Blog – Excerpt


Christen Krumm, Writer – Review

❧Defining Ways❧ – Excerpt


Adventures Thru Wonderland – Review

The Hermit Librarian – Excerpt


Savings in Seconds – Review

Twirling Book Princess – Excerpt


Two Points of Interest – Review

Dazzled by Books – Excerpt




All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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