Please be sure to check out the Teach.Mentor.Text and Unleashing Readers blogs by Jen & Kellee, the creators of this meme, for other bloggers participating in “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?”
This Monday I’ve been reading an ARC for my #bookaday challenge that I got from Simon & Schuster at the recent ILA Conference in Boston. Frances O’Roark Dowell, author of the Phineas L. MacGuire series and many other titles, has written a charming, heartwarming tale about a boy with a plan. In Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan, Sam Graham is a seven-year-old in search of employment. Both his parents and his older sister, Annabelle have jobs, and when their neighbor, Mrs. Kerner, needs someone to watch her chickens while she’s away, Sam sees his opportunity. Admittedly, I was drawn to this book because of my love-hate relationship with our own chickens. Slowly, they’re helping me overcome my small phobia of winged creatures, so I found myself empathizing with Sam as he strived to become an expert, in order to do his best as chicken caretaker.
We also meet several other people in Sam’s community, including Sam’s teacher, Mr. Pell, his classmates, and Sam’s bus driver, Miss Louise. But it’s Sam’s other neighbor, Judy, and her cranky old dad, Mr. Stockfish, who help teach Sam that true happiness doesn’t cost a thing.
Dowell has created a funny, curious main character that readers will root for from beginning to end. Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan arrives in bookstores next month and the follow-up text in the series, Sam the Man & the Rutabaga Plan is scheduled for release next winter.