Award-winning author Clancy Tucker is never one to shy away from controversial or confronting social issues. Nowhere in his work is it as obvious as in his sequel to Kick-Ass Tyler - Better Than Sliced Bread. It is Sam’s voice that becomes the conduit for Tucker’s humanitarian beliefs and which produces the exceptional dialogue that drives the story. 

When we first met Sam, she was prickly, rough and hard to get close to, carrying a burden of grief from the loss of her beloved dad.

In, Better than Sliced Bread, we meet a new Sam. Almost seventeen, she is mature, focused, a leader, and a doer whose goal is to study law. Earning a black belt in karate, and elected as School Captain, she is determined to be a role model to all the strugglers in her school, and the person who makes things happen.

She is also a powerhouse of inspiration and motivation for people that believed had no place in the Australian landscape and others that had no self esteem. Her character encourages young people regardless of gender, to aspire to greater things fearlessly with initiative, confidence and self esteem.

But life will test her strength and courage when she is attacked by a competitor in the Seaspray Surf Challenge. Then she is diagnosed with a brain tumour. It will take all her positive power and belief to see her through difficult challenges. She does not battle the complex treatments alone, for her support group is made up of family, Somali refugees, a disabled champion swimmer, and a ward full of children suffering cancer who she has befriended. And then there is Mick, the farmer who she meets that changes her life.

Tucker has covered a lot of ground in this book. There is an intricate weaving of stories and situations that combine the many interests that Sam’s character has decided she can do something about.

Countless themes enter and exit this inspiring novel. There is the issue of kindness and community spirit that is a main vein.  Tucker addresses the drought and its needs, equality for the disabled, youth suicide, refugees, cultural diversity, climate change, Indigenous rights, detention centres, homelessness, children living in poverty and so much more. 

 How did Tucker fit all this into one novel? He has an authenticity that is reflected in his writing. He weaves one story through another, until all of them are linked in a chain of excellent writing of passionate views.

Title: Better Than Sliced Bread
Author: Clancy Tucker
Publisher: Morris Publishing, $45.00
Publication Date: October 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780994601032
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction
Labels: Australian Author, social issues, bullying, emotions, diversity, dogs, family, friendship, health, identity, love, romance
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

I finished reading "Better Than Sliced Bread" yesterday, but this morning I read the speech of Sam to the Parliament again. You might think that it took much time for me to finish the book. But I want to tell you that besides the book that is thick and quite a long story to tell, this book should be read slowly and not rush to not miss anything especially for me who has not much time each day now to sit still and read all day like I had this kind of time once in my life.

Sam is what was always mentioned in the story, "an exceptional, articulate, courageous, and a role model girl." and more as appeared in the story to be well praised and inspiring. She is also your voice to Australia and the world.

And the voice of a cancer patient that I am with her along the way until she beats cancer. With my experience with three cancer patients in my family, I felt and touched her pain and never to lose hope until the end.

I love quotes in the story that are very touching and inspiring. It's great that you, as a writer put them with your creation of Sam, to make the story and her thoughts is very interesting, and very impressive to me and I believe, to the readers in general.

And the speech Sam gave to the Parliament is the climax of what she is, what she thought, what she has done, and what she will do. I hope your readers will enjoy reading Sam's life like me.

And I admire you so much for this work of this beautiful and courageous girl, full of love in her heart, no matter how many ugly and dangerous situations she faced in life, she never gave up.

In this time of racial problems and extreme changes in political and social ideology, I praise you in your thought and your way of practice to people of different races that you put in your writing of Sam's story. I hope this will ignite the light in this dark era now.

I wish you more and more readers and your messages would be spread far and wide to many readers and people as possible.

Anchansiri Sriyananda
Former Thai diplomat
Bangkok, Thailand


Another captivating read. Covering a variety of topics as seen through the mind of a very unique young women, with foresight well beyond her years. Incorporating a diverse range of issues facing young people today. This book would do well in the school curriculum, it encourages empathy and opens a diverse range of modern day topics, along with solutions. Holds your interest till the end.

Kaye Jones

“Sam is an inspiration to both young and old.  She shows friendship and compassion to everyone, despite her own problems.

The story will make you shed a few tears in parts, but these are outweighed by her courage and positive outlook on life. Sam is able to bring together people from all walks of life - struggling farmers, refugees and people from her own seaside town.  Sam shows how incredible things can happen when whole communities work together.  A very enjoyable read for anyone, no matter what your age.”

 Jean Laws

This is the exciting and engrossing story of Sam Tyler as she juggles life- threatening cancer, final year studies, and menacing attackers.  While at the same time she encourages the dreams and needs of other people and a drought stricken community. 

Sam is quite astounding. She turned into a superhero. 

Elizabeth Longham

I am very impressed by your book. Love ya work! It is a great story and should have a lot of appeal for young readers, and not so young.

Stefan Vucak

Award-winning author and editor.

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