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Sam's Big Secret

Story and Tools by Dr. Stephanie Margolese, Ph.D.

Sam has a BIG SECRET. He is embarrassed that a brave turtle, like him, is terrified of water. Whenever he approaches a river, Sam has trouble breathing, his heart pounds quickly, and his body shakes. Sam thinks something terrible is going to happen. So he hides in his shell to calm down. The more Sam avoids the water and makes excuses to his friends, the bigger his fear grows and the worse he feels. Sam realizes he has let FEAR take control of his life. He is determined to overcome his fear. Through his journey, Sam uses different strategies that allow him to gradually face and conquer his fear.

The book includes a detailed section that explains fear and 7 coping tools.

Sam cover.jpg
  • Full color illustrations.

  • 8.5 x 8.5 inches, soft cover.

  • Great for class or as a family resource book.

  • Simple concepts that can be understood by children 4 and up.

  • Practical tools that can easily be introduced at home, school or as part of therapy.

  • An amazing gift for all children!

Dr. Stephanie Margolese   

Dr. Stephanie Margolese is a clinical psychologist who specializes in assessing and treating children, adolescents, and their families. She has worked in the Child Psychiatry Outpatient Department at the Jewish General Hospital since 2001. Dr. Margolese is an Assistant Professor (joint) (professional) in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. She is also the author of Sam's Big Secret and When Monkey Lost His Smile. Other collaborations include A Spot of Blue and The Tiger in My  


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Free tools for download

Here are some extra resources to help bring these tools into your home or classroom.

Tips for helping your child cope.jpg
Sam T4 Encouragement cards.jpg
Sam T1 Act like a brave superhero.jpg
Sam T2 My fear ladder.jpg
Sam T3 My fear thermometer.jpg
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