Sam and Maggie on Sam!: An Interview with the True Inspirations for Sam!

Guest Blogger: Dani Gabriel, author of Sam!

In my previous guest blog post I discussed the story behind the story of Sam!, but here I thought I’d ask my kids, Sam and Maggie, their thoughts about the book.

Maggie (left) and Sam

Maggie (left) and Sam

DG: Sam and Maggie, what are your pronouns? What grade are you in school and what's your favorite thing about yourself?

Sam: My name is Sam. I use he/him pronouns. And my favorite thing about myself is that I can draw, kind of, sort of. I'm in sixth grade, almost seventh grade.

Maggie: My name is Maggie. I use she/her pronouns. I guess I'm a ninth grader now. I like my freckles.

DG: So, what do you think of the book?

Sam: I really like it. I think it's somewhat a representation of us and also a representation of other families at the same time. I think that's really interesting.

Maggie: I think the book is really nice and I like it a lot.

DG: Yeah? What do you like about it?

Maggie: I like the art, it's really nice. I like that it actually happened.

DG: What do you think is important about the book?

Sam: That it represents so many different types of people. I think it's important that it represents a lot of different people in one book.

Maggie: I think it's important because I haven't seen a lot of childrens' books with trans boys or books that talk about the relationship with, like, older siblings. I think that's cool.

DG: How are Sam and Maggie in the book like you and how are they not like you?

Sam: Well Maggie's really supportive, which is true, and Maggie's really annoying, which is true. And so that's pretty true to life.

Maggie: Well, what's true in the book is that I would say Samuel, not Sam. I knew it'd annoy him. We fight a lot more in real life.

DG: What's your favorite part about the book?

Sam: I really like just that it's a really pretty story. I like how it represent—

Maggie: What part of the book, Sam?

Sam: Could I just say a thing about the book?

DG: Yes.

Maggie: Yeah, fine.

Sam: Some books, they're like, "This boy wants to be a girl," or "This girl really wants to be a boy." This book doesn't represent trans people that way, and that's really nice. I think it's a better form of representation than a lot of other books. Not all books; I think some of the books are freaking amazing.

Maggie: My favorite part of the book is when Sam tells Maggie about how he's Sam at night and she calls him Samuel to annoy him.

DG: You like that?

Maggie: Yeah, that's my favorite part.

DG: Maggie, what is one thing people should know about how to support LGBTQ+ kids?

Maggie: When they tell you something like, "I'm trans," or "I'm nonbinary," or something, don't doubt them, don't question it. Be like, "Okay, what can I do to help."

DG: Sam, what's one thing people should know about how to support LGBTQ+ kids?

Sam: That it's going to be a learning process together, but your trans child is not here to be your teacher on all trans things. You should find resources in other places. It's not necessarily your trans child's or nonbinary child's job to teach you everything about trans culture. And just be supportive, like Maggie said.

DG: Is there anything important that I left out of the book? Be honest.

Maggie: Yeah. I'm cooler than Sam. You didn't include that in the book, but it's true.

DG: What do you want to say to someone who's considering whether they should get the book?

Sam: I think you should get it just because of the way it represents a bunch of families and cultures and everything in one book, just so that you can get a better understanding.

Maggie: I would say, "Buy the book, because you're not going to regret it. It's really good. I really like it." Yeah, that's it.

DG: Thank you, guys.