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The Hired Hand by Robert D. San Souci
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The Hired Hand

by Robert D. San Souci

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I enjoyed reading The Hired Hand and the plot of the story. In this book there is a father and his son who work together named Old Sam and Young Sam. Young Sam, the son, is very lazy and disrespectful. He does not listen to his father and basically does not want to help out with the work. Well, a guy comes along asking Old Sam if he would teach him how to sawmill with no pay and Old Sam agrees. Young Sam's dad orders him to watch over The New Hand but of course, Young Sam abuses his power by mistreating him. The Hired Hand turns an older man who is having body pains into his old young self internally and externally. The Hired Hand asked everyone to go away while he "cured" the older man but Young Sam goes somewhere where he is still able to see The New Hand. The New Hand tells Young Sam that he is going to go elsewhere is Young Sam does not treat him better than he does. Young Sam is cocky and tells him to leave, thinking that The New Hand would stay, he leaves. The older man comes back with his wife asking for The New Hand to make her young again but Young Sam tells him that The New Hand taught him how to do it. Young Sam messes up by using possum blood instead of his blood and kills the man's wife. The older man finds her dead and they bring Young Sam to the courthouse. They find him guilty and sentence him to twenty-five years in jail until The New Hand points to the back of the courthouse where the woman who was dead, is alive and young. This is a great read for children because it teaches them to be kind to others, never be over conceited, and also if you do bad it will come back on you. ( )
  Neshia.Rowe | Oct 4, 2016 |
This is an African American Folktale about a hired hand at a sawmill who is treated poorly by the owner’s son. Young Sam, the owner’s son, is taught a lesson after his laziness leads him to a “bad end.” This folktale revolves around the theme of hard work and treating people with respect. The artwork uses pencil and watercolor and may not be eye catching; however, the art does tell the story well. ( )
  ecollado | Nov 26, 2014 |
The Hired Hand is adapted from oral folk tales told in Virginia in the late 1800's. The overall theme is the problem with being lazy and taking shortcuts in life. ( )
  mosbor | Sep 8, 2014 |
This folktale, that takes place on an African American sawmill, is about character and honesty.It feature a stranger with magical healing powers who teaches a lesson to a young man with very bad tendancies. The moral of the story is hard work and honesty has it's rewards. ( )
  dbcollin | Nov 8, 2012 |
The Hired Hand inspires readers to imagine what life and values of long ago Virginia were like for the freed African American characters in this folktale brilliantly retold by San Souci. A wonderful companion to John Henry and The Talking Eggs.

In the classroom: Author study; illustrator study; African American folktales; elements of folktales; making connections and allusions to European or Greek and Roman tales and legends; magic in folklore; oral traditions; racial relations of the south before and after civil war with a focus on areas like Virginia were freed blacks and whites co-existed; moral traditions; moral questions including justice, laziness, greed, guilt, kindness, honesty and truthfulness, deceit and dishonesty and the repercussions; ( )
  melscott | Jun 10, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142404500, Paperback)

As water pours over the wheel of a busy sawmill in Virginia, a stranger tells Old Sam, the owner, that he wants to learn the trade. Old Sam is happy to take on a hired hand, and Young Sam, his son, is glad to have someone to boss around. One day, an old farmer complains about a misery in his back. The New Hand offers to fix him up, and when he does, the farmer is not only cured, he’s young again! But when conniving Young Sam tries to do the same, he finds himself in big trouble. Can the New Hand set things right?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:39 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In this retelling of an African-American folktale, Old Sam hires a man to help out at his saw mill, and the hired hand also teaches Sam's lazy son a lesson about how to treat people.

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