Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan

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!


Praise for Sam the Man!

A Junior Library Guild Selection!

“The story has accessibility, charm, and gentle wit, and the subtle strokes of human dynamics are masterful.”(Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books)

“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.” (The Horn Book)

“Dowell has crafted a story that has kid appeal, humor, and fun with chickens. Teachers will appreciate Sam’s initiative and the enriching vocabulary… Readers, teachers, and school librarians looking for that special, easier chapter book will enjoy this title.” (School Library Connection)

San the Man and the Rutabaga Plan (February 14, 2017)

First up for 2017 is Sam the Man & the Rutabaga Plan. In this book — the second in the Sam the Man series — Sam is back and he’s having rutabaga issues… All he needs is a little help from nature, and, of course, his chickens.

Sam the Man has a new school project. He’s got to “babysit” a vegetable in this second hilarious chapter book in a new series from Frances O’Roark Dowell.

Sam the Man is back, and he needs a NEW plan. Sam has already solved a chicken problem, but this time, he’s having rutabaga issues. Rutabega? Yes, Rutabega. You see, Sam thought he was quite clever, missing school while his classmates were picking out their vegetable for a two-week science project. But, instead of being able to skip the project, he gets stuck with the vegetable that no one else wanted: the rutabaga!

What even is this thing? It’s dirty and kinda purple, and it does not look like something Sam would ever eat. Sam the Man is not a vegetable man to begin with, and he doesn’t think he’ll ever be a rutabaga man. But after drawing a little face on it, he starts to grow fond of the curious veg. Then it dawns on him that vegetables don’t last forever… so he changes his plan: he has to keep this rutabaga happy — and rot-free — for as long as he can. To do that, he’ll have to make the best dirt possible. All he needs is a little help from nature, and, of course, his chickens!