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Danny, Who Fell in a Hole
Cover of Danny, Who Fell in a Hole
Danny, Who Fell in a Hole
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Finalist for the 2014 Silver Birch Express Award Danny finds himself stranded at the bottom of a giant construction hole, armed with nothing but his school backpack, his wits — and the company of...
Finalist for the 2014 Silver Birch Express Award Danny finds himself stranded at the bottom of a giant construction hole, armed with nothing but his school backpack, his wits — and the company of...
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  • Finalist for the 2014 Silver Birch Express Award

    Danny finds himself stranded at the bottom of a giant construction hole, armed with nothing but his school backpack, his wits — and the company of a poetry-spouting mole...

    Danny's parents have always been a bit flaky, but this time they have gone too far. Now his mother wants to bake cheesecakes in the mountains, and his father wants to be an opera singer. That means Danny and his older brother will spend half the year in Banff (wherever that is) and half the year in New York City. Worst of all, in preparation for the big move, his parents have given away the family dog, Thwack.

    Furious with his family, Danny runs out of the house and keeps running — straight onto a construction site, where he ends up at the bottom of a very, very large hole. When it appears that help is not immediately forthcoming, he settles in for the short haul, like a subterranean Robinson Crusoe. Drawing on his ingenuity, he provides himself with shelter (garbage bag and paper clips), cereal (coffee creamer, rainwater, granola bars and a few rogue raisins found at the bottom of his backpack) and a washroom (a hole in a hole). He even does his homework!

    The only thing missing is a Man Friday. Who turns out to have a long, earth-covered snout, a taste for beetles, and no eyes to speak of. Oh, and he also talks. His name is Mole, and he is excellent company — until a snake appears, and Danny must be not only ingenious, but also brave, if he is going to save his new friend.

About the Author-

  • Cary Fagan is the award-winning author of many books for children and adults, including Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas and Oy, Feh, So! Visit Cary Fagan's website: http://www.caryfagan.com/

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 4, 2013
    When Danny’s parents announce their plans to split up the family so they can follow their own artistic dreams, Danny is horrified (his father wants to sing opera in New York City, and his mother intends to bake cheesecakes in Banff, Canada). Even worse, they have given away Danny’s beloved dog, Thwack. In a fit of fury, Danny races out of the house and falls into a deep hole at a construction site. He makes clever use of the items in his backpack to get through the next few days, and befriends a wisecracking mole who not only speaks but also composes poetry (“Dark, dark, O glorious dark!/ Bathe me in blackness, ooohoo ohooo!”). Fagan (The Boy in the Box) has fun casting Danny as an outsider in a family of artistes (“Sunsets are cliché,” huffs Danny’s ukulele-playing older brother after Danny cites a school drawing as an example of his own creativity). Pavlovic’s cartoon spot illustrations are a good fit for this funny and sweet tale about learning to embrace change and appreciating what one has. Ages 8–12.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2013

    Gr 3-6-Danny is the levelheaded member of his family. His brother is a creative musician, and his parents have decided to go their separate ways for a year or two to pursue their unrealized passions. This means that he has to leave the comforts of home to live in the Rocky Mountains while his mom bakes cheesecakes and then in New York City while his dad becomes an opera singer. To make matters worse, his parents have given away his beloved dog. Unable to absorb so much change at once, the child bolts from his house and lands at the bottom of a deep construction hole. There he meets an unlikely companion: a talking mole. With so much time to think, Danny matures in surprising ways. This title will grab many readers, who will easily relate to the completely unfair way in which Danny has been thrust into this new living situation by his parents. The talking mole infuses a dose of humor and unexpected whimsy, keeping the tale light and fun. Danny's resourcefulness during his misadventure adds a survival-story element that kids will enjoy. Black, white, and gray illustrations appear sporadically throughout and complement the simple, clear text. The story line will hold the attention of reluctant readers, while the subtle emotional maturation of the protagonist will spark thinking in all students.-Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2013
    Faced with sudden life changes, a boy blindly rushes into a deserted construction site and falls into a hole. Danny comes home from school one day to discover that his parents have boxed up all his possessions, given his dog Thwack away and are separating to pursue their artistic dreams. Understandably infected with a "terrible energy" that sends him pelting down the street, he is too distracted to watch his step. As a result, he finds himself at the bottom of a steep-walled pit, with no cellphone service and only the contents of his backpack for supplies. Being generally a levelheaded sort ("His parents always said he was practical, as if it were some kind of defect"), he takes inventory, does his homework, turns a garbage bag into a shelter--and, along with thinking his own thoughts, has some therapeutic interchanges with a chatty mole and a treacherous snake. Rescued the next day, he emerges to what seems a bright, new world, and though his repentant parents have put everything back the way it was, he lets them know that it's OK to move on. Despite the talking animals, it's more Robinson Crusoe than Alice in Wonderland, with comical dialogue and occasional cartoon illustrations lightening the emotional load. A quirky existential adventure for thoughtful readers. (Fantasy. 9-11)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • CM Magazine A thoroughly engrossing short tale, this book is typical Fagan: fantastical yet familiar, timeless, and with just the right touch of sentiment and seriousness... a great read-aloud tale.

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    Groundwood Books Ltd
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