Sonny and Sammy

Sonny and Sammy
Item# ISBN: 978-0-8059-9809-2

by Virginia Wallen

In Sonny and Sammy, Virginia Wallen tells a heartwarming children’s tale about faith, friendship, and the value of forming special relationships with animals. Sonny was once a beloved horse, until he is left in the desert to die by an owner who thinks it is not worth the trouble to keep and feed him. He is found by a little boy, Sammy, and his dad, who live on a nearby ranch. Sammy is lonely since he has no playmates his age, so they take Sonny home, and soon his coat is beautiful and shiny again.

Unfortunately, tragedy strikes when Sammy begins to learn to ride Sonny. A poisonous snake causes Sonny to throw Sammy, who is hurt very badly. When he finally comes home, he is bound to a wheelchair; however, Sammy’s dad finds a special saddle that allows Sammy to ride horses without falling. They even get a ranch with Sonny and Sammy’s initials intertwined.

More than an entertaining children’s story about a special relationship between a lost horse and a young boy, Sonny and Sammy offers an important life lesson about perseverance in the face of adversity.


Virginia Wallen is disabled and volunteers her time to elementary students and nursing homes with her husband. Reading is very important to her; that is why she helps the students read and what prompted her to write stories they can understand. She finds her inspiration in the students and teachers she spends time with, and her oldest daughter, who was a barrel racer with a horse named Sonny. Mrs. Wallen dedicates Sonny and Sammy, her first published book, to the students and teachers at Mineral King Elementary School in Visalia, California, because of their belief and encouragement.

(2005, paperback, 32 pages)

Availability: Usually ships in 2-3 business days.


Reader Review
“[The children] keep inspiring me,” said Wallen, who has 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren but rarely sees them as most of them live in Tennessee. “What do they do? They love me, and I love them.” Her books, such as “Sonny and Sammy,” focus on people who struggle with disabilities. In 1991, she was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. She couldn’t touch anything without pain and had to leave her job at the Tulare County Department of Social Services. That doesn’t stop her from volunteering three to four days a week at the school and regularly at three nursing homes. She brought in her books to read to them, and the children added their own illustrations.

- - Visalia Times-Delta, Jillian Daley, May 19, 2006

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