Mon 11 Jul 2011
“Sam Evans needs a haircut.”
Now before you think I’m out-of-touch or unhip, I have to say that, generally, I quite like longer hair on men.
But as the season progressed, Sam’s blond coiffure — that had been favorably compared to Justin Bieber’s famous hairdo in early episodes — got more and more unkempt.
Because several episodes also showed Sam in the background looking glum, I thought he might be mourning the fact that he had been nicknamed “Trouty Mouth” by his then-girlfriend Santana Lopez. She even wrote a song about the size of his mouth that made the normally easy-going Sam take a stand.
While Sam, who is portrayed by Chord Overstreet, does indeed have a large mouth, that’s certainly not the most interesting thing about him. And, in the last few episodes, Glee’s writers explained why he’d been looking a little run-down.
It turns out Sam’s father lost his job.
Then, after their house was repossessed, the family was living in a motel on the outskirts of Lima where Sam watched his younger brother and sister in the evenings while his parents looked for work.
To help his family out, Sam took a job delivering pizzas and had to pawn his guitar. He also borrowed clothes from Kurt and Finn.
So … if I were a librarian at William McKinley High School, I’d suggest that Sam read Guitar Boy by MJ Auch (Christy Ottaviano Books, 2010).
Why? It tells the story of another guitar-playing teen with family troubles.
Travis Tacey is 14 and lives in a rural mountain community. After his mother is injured in a car accident and is unable to return home, his father loses his job and falls apart. He throws Travis out of the house after the two argue, and forces Travis’s older sister to drop out of school and care for his younger brother and sister.
On his own without even a pair of shoes, Travis only has a hand-made guitar that’s been in his family for generations. He hopes he can support himself by singing and playing on street corners, but when his guitar is stolen he doesn’t know what to do next.
I’d suggest that Sam read the whole book, paying special attention to page 150 where Travis watches a guitar being made and page 224 where Travis solos on “Turkey in the Straw.”
I’d also recommend that Sam visit this website to read about how author MJ Auch watched her very own guitar being built from scratch, which inspired her to write this book. I’d even let him use the computer in the library because he probably doesn’t have access to one outside of school.
Things look hopeful for Travis and Sam …
I’d hope Sam would see that even though Travis’ situation is worse than his, Travis still has hope. He follows his love of music and helps get ready for a guitar-picking competition. There, he meets some like-minded people who help him get back on his feet and start reconnecting with his family.
And if Sam looks, he has reasons to hope, too. His friends chip in to get him his guitar back and encourage him to stay in Glee Club. They even come up with a “prom on a budget” plan so he can attend. And things start looking up even more in the last episode when it’s revealed he and Mercedes are dating.
And just so I don’t look shallow, I’d like to point out one thing.
As soon as filming for the second season of Glee was over, Chord Overstreet cut his hair. So he must have been getting sick of it, too. It will be interesting to see what Sam Evans looks like in Season Three if he comes back to McKinley High.
If you’d like to see which books I’ve recommended to other Glee characters, they are:
• Sam Evans – Guitar Boy by MJ Auch.
• Quinn Fabray – Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.
• David Karofsky – Dairy Queen and The Off Season both by Catherine Gilbert Murdock.
• Rachel Berry – Theater Geek by Mickey Rapkin.
• Kurt Hummel – Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan.