Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan
Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan

Series: Sam the Man Vol. 1   

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Annotation: When seven-year-old Sam Graham, eager for some spending money, volunteers to look after a neighbor's chickens, the experience inspires him to get his own chicken, a special bird named Helga.
Catalog Number: #130040
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Chapter Book Chapter Book
Publisher: Atheneum
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Illustrator: Bates, Amy June,
Pages: 115 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-481-44066-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-481-44066-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015007119
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Sam wants to have a job, like his mother, father, and big sister. Soon he has two, both involving neighbors. First, he looks after Mrs. Kerner's chickens. Next, he takes elderly Mr. Stockfish for walks. Sam's interest in chickens flourishes after his father helps him buy his own hen, Helga, who lays blue eggs. Soon Sam is taking Mr. Stockfish on walks to visit her, an idea that pays off all around. His neighbor grows stronger, while taking a supportive interest in Sam and Helga. This very accessible chapter book offers a simply told, well-knit story with a multicultural cast of likable characters. The author of Dovey Coe (2000), Chicken Boy (2005), and the Phineas MacGuire series, Dowell portrays seven-year-old Sam with a quiet perception. Many readers will relate to his pride in figuring out for himself how to earn money as well as how he'd like to spend it. Well-structured, shaded pencil drawings illustrate characters and scenes with energy, perception, and gentle humor. This satisfying story sets the stage for the Sam the Man series.
Horn Book
After seven-year-old Sam Graham makes a little money chicken-sitting, he decides to get a chicken of his own: Helga, who lays blue eggs. Black-and-white illustrations, some humorous, some gentle, accompany each chapter. The short sentences and amusing situations make this a perfect read-aloud or first read-alone for young readers, whether they have a chicken or not.
Kirkus Reviews
Seven-year-old Sam's search for a job leads him to chickens and an unexpected friendship.Sam's father does "something with computers," his mother does "something with clients," and his older sister, Annabelle, mows lawns at "20 bucks a pop." When his neighbor stops by to ask Annabelle if she'd take care of her chickens while she's away for the weekend, Sam persuades Mrs. Kerner that he can do it. He soon realizes he needs a steady stream of income and thinks that maybe his own chicken could help. He arranges with Mrs. Kerner to board his new chicken with hers in exchange for overall chicken care, and he pays his father back for Helga, who lays blue eggs, by taking a job as his elderly neighbor's exercise companion. Dowell creates in Sam a completely believable 7-year-old whose desires "to be an expert on something" and to emulate his family members combine organically to drive this story of intergenerational (and interspecies) friendship. His burgeoning relationship with grumpy Mr. Stockfish is as much a joy to watch as his excitement over Helga's first egg. The financial lessons he learns are valuable ones, delivered painlessly in the tightly focused third-person narration. Bates' soft pencil illustrations depict Sam's close-knit family as white, Mr. Stockfish and his daughter as black, and his classmates as diverse in color. A sweet slice of neighborhood life; here's hoping for more of Sam the Man. (Fiction. 6-9)
Publishers Weekly
In a warm family story, Dowell introduces Sam Graham, age seven, who wants to earn money like his older sister, Annabelle. He offers to care for a neighbor-s chickens while she-s away, opening the door for a chicken of Sam-s own, as well as a friendship with the somewhat cantankerous Mr. Stockfish, another neighbor. Dowell-s story shines in Sam-s believable and often-funny interactions with his family, community, and friends. -You really needed to use the whole roll?- Sam-s mother asks after he makes a toilet paper nest for his chicken-s first egg. -Sam nodded again. Did she really need to ask?- Final art not seen by PW. Ages 6-9. (Aug.)

Word Count: 10,676
Reading Level: 3.7
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.7 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 184413 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.7 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q69448
Lexile: 640L
Guided Reading Level: M
Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan

A Job for Sam

Sam Graham wanted a job.

Everyone else in his family had a job. His dad did something with computers, and his mom did something with clients, and his sister, Annabelle, who was twelve, mowed lawns.

“Twenty bucks a pop,” Annabelle said when she came home from a job, sweaty and flecked with little bits of grass. “Hard to beat.”

“What can I do for twenty bucks a pop?” Sam asked his mom.

“There aren’t many jobs for seven-year-olds,” his mom said. “I’ll give you a dollar to clean your room.”

Sam didn’t want a job that only paid one buck a pop.

Besides, his room didn’t need cleaning.

When Mrs. Kerner stopped by to see if Annabelle would take care of her chickens while she was away, Annabelle said she couldn’t do it.

“I have three lawns to mow this weekend,” she told Mrs. Kerner. “Hate to say it, but there’s no time for chickens.”

Sam raced over to Mrs. Kerner. He waved his arms in the air. “I’ll take care of your chickens!”

“You’re only seven,” Mrs. Kerner said. “Seven-year-olds don’t know the first thing about chickens.”

“I know they lay eggs,” Sam said, holding up one finger.

“I know they like to be around other chickens,” he added, holding up a second finger.

He tried to think of one more thing he had learned on the second-grade field trip to the farm.

Aha! He held up a third finger. “I know their poop is good for the garden.”

“Don’t say ‘poop,’ ” said Mrs. Kerner.

“I like the way it sounds,” said Sam.

“Still,” said Mrs. Kerner. “Still and all.”

She looked at Sam for a long time. “You know a lot about chickens. But you’re awfully small.”

“I’m bigger than a raccoon,” said Sam.

“I despise raccoons,” said Mrs. Kerner.

“Me too,” said Sam.

“Okay, then,” said Mrs. Kerner. “I think we can work together.”

Excerpted from Sam the Man and the Chicken Plan by Frances O'Roark Dowell
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Sam the Man wants to earn some money and he’s got a cluck-worthy plan in this endearing chapter book that’s the first in a new series from Frances O’Roark Dowell.

Sam the Man needs a job. Even his sister gets twenty bucks a pop for mowing people’s lawns! But seven-year-olds aren’t allowed to mow lawns, so Sam decides to ask his next door neighbor if she needs help doing other chores. It turns out she’ll pay him a whole dollar each time he can convince her dad, Mr. Stockfish, to join him for a walk. But it turns out that getting Mr. Stockfish to leave the living room isn’t easy. AND a dollar a pop isn’t going to cut it.

So when Mrs. Kerner, another neighbor, asks if Sam would like to watch her chickens, Sam jumps on the task. You can count on him, yes indeed. Watching chickens is more fun than he expects, and comes with an added bonus: it turns out that visiting the chickens is the one thing that can coax Mr. Stockfish out of the house! But what does a seven-year-old do with all the money he’s earning? It’s too little for a bike, and too much for candy. But wait! It’s just enough for a chicken of his own—the kind that lays BLUE eggs! Soon he has a whole waiting list of kids who want to buy a blue egg. And what does Sam plan on doing with his new fortune? Buy Mr. Stockfish his own chicken, of course!

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