Sam Caruso Stories


All About

Sam Caruso Stories are about a young boy growing up in mid-twentieth century Los Angeles, California. Sam's world is full of play, but he’s also learning life lessons from his family and friends. The stories are timeless and themes universal.

Inspiration for Stories

The idea for the Sam Caruso series came from my childhood recollections. growing up in Los Angeles. As a very young boy, I was mesmerized by the stories of my maternal grandfather. In my imagination, his stories became movies that I could recall and later retell to others.


Over a period of time, I started to write sketches of my childhood. Growing-up in a large Italian-Sicilian-American family was a rich field in which to find colorful characters living, working and playing during the years following WWII.


A Boy At Heart

One birthday, I got a surprise from my Aunt Nancy. I so enjoyed her gift because I learned that growing-up isn't so bad, as long as you don't forget about being a kid.

Over the Ivy Covered Fence

Once, I was frightened of dogs. Then one day I met Max, a beautiful black dog. This is the story of how Max helped me to learn that big black dogs can be pretty nice friends.

Nonno's Pocket Watch

This is the story about the time when my grandfather, Nonno Pete, gave me a pocket watch. It was a beautiful and very special watch, and it helped me learn something very important.




Nonno’s Pocket Watch is a feel good children’s book that teaches valuable lessons throughout.” Italian Tribune

The children's book (Nonno’s Pocket Watch) is a good read that has a timeless theme. It touches on what's important in life, why family is important and friendship. This book is a great addition to my children's library.” Goodreads Review

“This (Over the Ivy Covered Fence) is a touchy book of a friendship between a boy and an elderly woman and the dog they both love. It shows that fears can be conquered.” Goodreads Review

Over the Ivy Covered Fence is a good story for all ages, and understandable for younger readers.” Goodreads Review

Ray Vento writes beautifully and from the heart and Jay Mazhar's illustrations add a sensitive, realistic images of the characters.” Amazon Reviewer

Over the Ivy Covered Fence is a wonderful book to share with children. It teaches that friends can be any age, and that fears can be overcome.” Amazon Reviewer

“Ray Vento has done it again with another great Sam Caruso Story. This (Over the  Ivy Covered Fence) is a great book to include in a classroom library for students in the middle grades.” Amazon Reviewer

This (Nonno’s Pocket Watch) is a beautifully written and illustrated book. It expresses a valuable lesson for a child to hear human relationships trump physical possessions.” Amazon Reviewer

“Looking for a sweet children’s book (ages 5-10) written from an Italian-American family perspective? Ray Vento’s story about young Sam’s relationship with his grandfather is a simple tale of the gift of an old pocket watch which has passed down through generations….” NIAF Ambassador Review