Author: Mac Barnett
Illustrator: Jon Klassen
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: October 14th, 2014
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.
What I Think: This book will be available on Tuesday and I hope you have it pre-ordered because you're going to want to be in on the conversations about what in the world happens at the end of this book! As soon as I saw Travis Jonker's post on 100 Scope Notes called 6 Theories on the Ending of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole in my Twitter feed, you better believe I clicked it. I actually have a completely different (7th?) theory on the end of this book.
This book is suspenseful. You can't help but want to turn the page to figure out what happens next. I love how this can be a great mentor text for pacing and making sure that what you've written drives the story forward and makes the reader want to read more. The illustrations really add to this because the add so much to what the text tells us. It's as if the readers are in on a big secret (with our friend the god) while Sam and Dave have no idea what's going on. The text gives us Sam and Dave's thoughts but the illustrations let us in on the bigger story.
By the time I got to the end of the book I thought I had an inkling of what might happen but I was so totally wrong. I should have knew things would not go how I expected at all. My theory is that this book is a bigger metaphor for life and experiences we have throughout our lives. It took me a while to come to this decision - many discussions, and several close rereads - before I felt good about this conclusion. And I still want to hear what others think.
So I did read this book with my kiddos (who are 7 and 4 right now) and they thought it was fun but they didn't really get what happened at the end...or notice that anything all that crazy happened. Peanut just shrugged his shoulders when I tried to ask him what he thought went down. For this reason, I believe this book would be great for older readers. In fact, I think it would spur an especially amazing and thoughtful discussion for middle school and high school readers.
Read Together: Grades 3 - 12
Read Alone: Grades 4 - 12
Read With: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett with illustrations by Jon Klassen, The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth based on a story by Leo Tolstoy, The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm, Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Snatch of Text:
"'When should we stop digging?' asked Sam.
'We are on a mission,' said Dave.
'We won't stop digging until we find
something spectacular.'"Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you wanted one outcome but something else happened entirely. How did you handle the situation and how did you feel about it?
Topics Covered: Friendship, Exploration, Life, Perseverance, Perspective
I *heart* It:
*Thanks to Candlewick Press for
a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review
and he opportunity to offer the giveaway below!*