Synthetic audio, Automated braille
Finalist for the 2014 Silver Birch Express AwardDanny 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.Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.1Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.3Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of eventsCCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.6Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).