GONE FISHING: A Novel In Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger, illustrated by Matthew Cordell, from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Children. 

Cover art by Matthew Cordell. Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse released on March 5, 2013.
Nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad. So when his pesky little sister, Lucy, horns in on their fishing trip, he’s none too pleased: “Where’s my stringer? / Something’s wrong! / The princess doll does not belong!” All ends well in this winsome book of poems—each labeled with its proper poetic form, from quatrain to tercet. Together the poems build a dawn-to-dusk story of a father-son bond, of sibling harmony lost and found—and most of all, of delicious anticipation. Charming line drawings animate the poetry with humor and drama, and the extensive Poet’s Tackle Box at the end makes this the perfect primer to hook aspiring poets of all ages.



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Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse is available as a hardcover, paper back, or ebook wherever books are sold. For purchasing information from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, please click on their logo:

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What Reviewers Say:

"Just the thing for readers with a burgeoning interest in poetry—or angling."
Publishers Weekly

"A playful verse narrative of the joys and perils of a family fishing trip. . . . This tender, well-crafted sibling story should hook many readers."

"Engaging verse that's just the right depth and length for chapter-book readers. . . A solid, entertaining story to hook children on poetry."

"All of Sam's episodes take the form of poems, each discreetly labeled by its poetic form, which is then defined at the end of the book. . . most will enjoy the notion that there are as many ways to tell a tale as to catch a fish."

"This novel in verse successfully builds a story filled with anticipation, family humor, and sibling rivalry. . . . Wissinger deftly plies her craft to ensure that the use of poetry enhances the readability of the story"
School Library Journal, starred review 

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Gone Fishing Honors and Awards:

Triple Crown Awards Finalist Spring 2017 

Junior Library Guild Spring 2013 Selection

School Library Journal Starred Review

ALSC 2014 Notable Children's Book

Children's Book Committee 2014 Best Children's Book of the Year, and the April 2014 Pick. 

International Reading Association 2014 Teachers Choices Selection for Grades 6-8

Librarians’ Choices 2013

Chicago Public Library “Best of the Best of 2013” for younger fiction. 

2013 Nerdy Award Poetry Winner

2013 Cybils Award Nominee

State/District Reading Lists:

Connecticut 2016 Nutmeg Book Award Elementary Nominees

Florida 2015-2016 Sunshine State Young Readers Award Jr., Florida Association for Media in Education

Illinois 2017 Illinois School Library Media Association The Bluestem Award: Illinois' Grades 3-5 Readers' Choice Award

Indiana 2015-2016 Indiana Library Federation Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee, Intermediate Grades

Kansas 2015-2016 William Allen White Children's Book Awards, Emporia State University, Kansas

Kentucky 2015 Kentucky Bluegrass Award Master Lists, Grades 3-5

Maine 2014-2015 Maine Student Book Awards, Grades 4-8

Michigan 2014-2015 Michigan Great Lakes Great Books Reading Association, Grades 4-5

New Hampshire 2014-2015 New Hampshire Cochecho Readers' Award Nominee

Oklahoma 2016 Oklahoma Library Association Children's Sequoyah Book Awards Nominee

Oregon 2015-2016 Beverly Cleary Children's Choice Awards Nominee, Oregon Association of School Libraries

Pennsylvania 2014-2015 Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Awards, Grades 3-6 

Rhode Island 2015 Rhode Island Children's Book Award Nominee

South Dakota 2015-2016 Prairie Bud South Dakota Children's Book Award

Tennessee 2015‐2016 Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award, Intermediate Nominee

Texas, Houston 2015-2016 Horned Toad Tales nominee, Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District, Houston, Texas

Utah 2014-2015 Children’s Literature Association of Utah Beehive Book Awards, Poetry Books

Virginia 2015-2016 Virginia State Reading Association Virgina Readers' Choice Elementary List 

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 Having Fun with Readers and Gone Fishing:

Tamera's first school visit - reading with first graders at Monroe Elementary in Hinsdale, Illinois. Spring 2013.

With the enthusiastic kindergarteners at Sacred Heart Elementary in Winnetka, Illinois. Spring 2013.


"Stand up if you'd like to read the part of Sam!" With the Saint Helen's middle grade students. Spring 2015.

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