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Sam's Chance

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And How He Improved It


(1876)



Sam Barker, the protagonist of "Sam's Chance," is unlike most of Horatio Alger's heroes. He spends the first half of the book exemplifying all those bad traits Alger disliked in boys. Sam smokes cigars, has questionable honesty, plays billiards, and skylarks on company time. His room-mate and conscience Henry Martin is mostly ignored when he gives Sam his pious advice. It is only when Sam relocates to Boston that his transformation is effected. Sam meets a young lady of society on the trip to Boston, and by accident has a funny adventure with three undergraduates at Harvard College. These chance meetings end up putting Sam into a position for true reform and betterment. While Sam's reformation is delayed, it is all the more impressive when it does come. I hope you enjoy "Sam's Choice" as much as I did.--Submitted by Robert Cox

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