‘Sam the Man and the Chicken Plan’ named Gryphon Award Honor book

Gryphon Award Honor Book
2017 Gryphon Award Honor Book

Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan, written by Frances O’Roark Dowell and illustrated by Amy June, and Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems, by Bob Raczka, have been named Honor Books by the 2017 Gryphon Award for Children’s Literature committee. The announcement was made Tuesday as the committee awarded the prestigious 2017 Gryphon Award for Children’s Literature to Weekends with Max and His Dad, written by Linda Urban and illustrated by Katie Kath.

The Gryphon Award was established in 2004 as a way to focus attention on transitional reading. “These are some of the most important books children will ever read,” Stevenson said. “We love having the opportunity, as a committee, to draw attention to the many wonderful books available to encourage early readers to move beyond the practical challenge of decoding to the skill of reading for content and for pleasure.”

The award committee consists of members drawn from the youth services faculty of the iSchool, the editorial staff of The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, public and school librarians, and the library and education community at large.

The award is sponsored by the CCB and funded by the CCB’s Gryphon Fund. Income from the fund supports the annual Gryphon Lecture as well as the Gryphon Award for children’s literature.


About ‘Sam the Man and 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. 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 daily 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. 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 not enough 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!


What reviewers are saying about ‘Sam the Man and the Chicken Plan’

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

“Dowell’s story shines in Sam’s believable and often-funny interactions with his family, community, and friends.” (Publishers Weekly)

“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.” (Kirkus)

“Sam is an inventive character who lives in a warm family in a diverse neighborhood. Small realistic incidents are amusing, relatable, and will ready early readers ready for more in this new series.” (The News & Observer)

“The short sentences and amusing situations make this a perfect read-aloud or first read-alone for young readers.” (The Horn Book)

Look for Second ‘Sam the Man’ on Valentine’s Day!

Hello, friend!

I’m excited that in just two weeks – on Valentine’s Day, no less – the second book in my ‘Sam the Man’ series will be released. These are early chapter books aimed at 6- to 9-year-old readers and follow the adventures of one Sam Graham, a 7-year-old tackling big problems around the neighborhood. In Sam the Man and the Chicken Plan, Sam’s job search leads to a gig tending a local chicken coop. In Sam the Man and the Rutabaga Plan, he learns to get along with a rather curious vegetable.

I hope this finds you well and reading good books!

Best,

Frances

Praise for Sam the Man Books 1 & 2!

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

“Dowell’s story shines in Sam’s believable and often-funny interactions with his family, community, and friends.” (Publishers Weekly)

“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.” (Kirkus)

“Sam is an inventive character who lives in a warm family in a diverse neighborhood. Small realistic incidents are amusing, relatable, and will ready early readers ready for more in this new series.” (The News & Observer)

“The short sentences and amusing situations make this a perfect read-aloud or first read-alone for young readers.” (The Horn Book)

BOXED SET: The Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire

The Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas L. MacGuire

Buy Online at Amazon.com

From award-winning author Frances O’Roark Dowell comes all of Phineas L. MacGuire’s highly scientific notebooks — now available together in a collectible boxed set.

In Phineas L. MacGuire… Erupts!, Phineas Listerman MacGuire (a.k.a. Mac) does not have a best friend. He does, however, have an un-best friend. And he does NOT, under any circumstances, wish for this un-best friend to become his friend. But the teacher does not know this, and has paired them together as science fair project partners. Worse, this un-best friend wants the project to be on dinosaurs, which is so third grade. But is Phineas going to convince this un-best friend to do the project on mold instead when he doesn’t even want to talk to that person?

In Phineas L. MacGuire… Gets Slimed!, Mac’s goal for the school year is to be the best fourth grade scientist ever. It’s a tall order, but he’s confident that he can achieve his goal, especially since Aretha has asked him to help her earn a Girl Scout badge by creating the mold that produces penicillin. After all, who knows more about mold than Mac? And how many fourth graders can say that they’ve reproduced penicillin? But the school year gets a lot busier when he has to manage Ben’s class president campaign and deal with his new babysitter, Sarah Fortemeyer, the Teenage Girl Space Alien from the Planet Pink. How is he supposed to focus on mold now?

In Phineas L. MacGuire… Blasts off!, Mac is less than up-to-date on planetary happenings. If he’s going to be the best scientist in the fourth grade, Mac has to set his sights a little higher. Well, actually a lot higher: Outer Space. But, space camp is expensive and Mac’s mom says he can go only if he earns the money himself. But, where is he going to find enough money for a week on Mars (or a pretty close simulation there of)?

And in Phineas L. MacGuire… Gets Cooking!, Phineas L. MacGuire — scientist extraordinaire — has a new chore: cooking dinner every night. He may be a genius, but he knows nothing about following a recipe. A pinch? A dash? A smidge? This doesn’t seem very scientific to him. But he’d better learn quickly if he and his friends are going to win the $10,000 Bake-Off prize. And to make matters worse, Evan Forbes, the school bully, has taken a liking to Phineas’s brownies… too much of a liking. Cooking is kind of like chemistry. So maybe this whole recipe thing won’t be too bad after all. But can Phineas keep his cool in the kitchen?