Cover image for Gone fishing : a novel in verse / by Tamera Will Wissinger ; illustrated by Matthew Cordell.
Gone fishing : a novel in verse / by Tamera Will Wissinger ; illustrated by Matthew Cordell.
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.

Physical Description:
120 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
General Note:
Contains bibliography (page 120)
In this novel told through poems, nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad, so when his pesky little sister horns in on their fishing trip, he is none too pleased. Includes primer on rhyme, poetry techniques, rhythm, stanzas, and poetic forms.
Audience/Reading Level:
Elementary Grade.

NP Lexile
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 2.6

Reading Counts! 3.2


Library Branch
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
1 Bob Harkins Branch WIS Paperback Junior Paperback Fiction

On Order



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

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. All ends well in this winsome book of poems--each labeled with its proper poetic form. 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 TackleBox at the end makes this the perfect primer to hook aspiring poets of all ages.

Author Notes

Tamera Will Wissinger writes poetry and stories for children. She earned her B.A. degree in English from Sioux Falls College, and her M.F.A. degree in Writing from Hamline University. She is the author of GONE FISHING: A Novel in Verse and THIS OLD BAND. Matthew Cordell has illustrated many picture and chapter books for children, including the picture book Hello Hello. He lives with his wife and their two children outside of Chicago, Illinois. Learn more at"

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Long takes a small incidentgoing fishing with Daddyand reveals the drama and satisfaction that come with it. Ages 5-8. (April) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Sam is excited for his fishing trip with Dad--until little sister Lucy tags along. Poems in various forms describe the fishing trio's day: preparations, techniques ("Heeere, fishy, fishy, fishy..."), frustrations ("Lucy's winning eight to... / none), and eventual triumphs. Cordell's buoyant illustrations are a natural fit for the upbeat verse. A "Poet's Tackle Box" section outlines poetic devices and forms. Bib. (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Sam NIGHT CRAWLERS Tercet Variation Dark night. Flashlight. Dad and I hunt worms tonight. Grass slick. Worms thick. Tiptoe near and grab them quick. Hold firm. They squirm. Tug-o-war with earth and worm. Ninety-four. Worms galore. Set our bucket near the door. Next day. No delay. Look out, fish -- we're on our way! Sam JUST DAD AND ME Free Verse Poem For fishing tomorrow it's just us two. Not Mom, not Grandpa, not Lucy. It'll be like playing catch or painting the garage. Just Dad and me. Fishing. Sam MY TACKLE BOX Switcheroo Poem I love my fishing tackle box -- it's green and blue and gold. My grandpa gave it to me when I wasn't very old. I need to get it ready for tomorrow at the lake. We're leaving in the morning just as soon as we're awake. One tiny click and now my treasure chest is open wide. A shelf with lots of little spaces holds my gear inside. My silver sinkers, wiggle worms, my floating frogs, my line. My shiny spinner lures, my bobbers, hooks--there're 29. The shelf is on a hinge--it hides my secret space below. It's where I keep my special treasures out of sight-- OH NO! . . . Where's my compass? Where's my map? Where's my lucky fishing cap? Where's my stringer? Something's wrong! This princess doll does not belong! . . . What is this? A throne? A crown? A polka-dotted circus clown? A tiny bottle of perfume? I smell Lucy in my room! Lucy FISHING FOR PRETEND Dramatic Poem for One, Quatrains Oh, Sam--you're here. Come on, let's play! I'm fishing for pretend tonight. It's fun to use your gear this way. Hold on, I think I have a bite. Your map's a paper fishing boat. Your compass is the steering wheel. I think our boat could really float. It would be fun to fish for real. Your stringer makes a tiny lake. I didn't crumple up your map. Your compass works--it didn't break. I sure do like your fishing cap. I didn't snoop--I made a trade. Stay here, sit down, don't go away. Don't you like the boat I made? Your fishing stuff is fun--come play! Excerpted from Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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