cover image Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan

Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan

Frances O’Roark Dowell, illus. by Amy June Bates. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $15.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-4814-4066-0

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.)