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by David Kherdian & illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1991
ISBN: 0-399-22263-4
Publisher: Philomel

 For three summer weeks, narrator Jason and his best friend Sammy focus on the annual fishing contest in a shallow pond at the local zoo. Thoughtful, intelligent, they explore the angles. What if one of them wins the coveted spinning rod? They'll work together to earn a second rod, but not until after the contest; doing it sooner could jinx their luck with greed. Is it possible that larger fish swim at the fenced-off deeper end of the pond, out-of-bounds for the contest? Reasoning from the evidence leads to the conclusion that the fence is for people and the fish can swim beneath it--though large fish prefer the deep water. When the great day arrives, Jason contrives to get his bait beneath the fence and hook a record-breaking fish during the contest's last minutes. There the story abruptly ends, slyly leaving readers to debate the ethics of Jason's win. This will appeal most to ``deep thinkers'' like Jason and Sammy, intrigued as much by ``how'' and ``why'' as by the activity itself, but the natural-sounding dialogue and well- chosen details will also attract others--as will Hogrogian's luminous, exquisitely composed pictures of the friends companionably ruminating. A special book to share. (Fiction. 7- 11)