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Chicken Feathers Hardcover – May 29, 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

There is nothing remarkable about Josh Miller’s life on his family’s chicken farm. He collects eggs, tends chard, and fans the flames of a crush on neighbor girl Annalee. Indeed, the only extraordinary part of his rural existence is his geriatric, beer-obsessed, talking pet chicken, Semolina. She's not always a blemish, though. When Josh’s mother enters the hospital because of a difficult pregnancy, Semolina becomes a reluctant confidante. Unfortunately, she speaks only to Josh, and when she identifies a fox as the egg-thieving culprit everyone is looking for, no one believes him. The story unfolds as a smooth amalgam of nostalgic farm tale and contemporary problem novel. Elliot’s warm, evocative pencil sketches, reminiscent of Robert McCloskey’s work, combine with Cowley’s rich storytelling voice to reinforce the novel’s sunny, bucolic surface. Small, lovely details, and careful character development, including a complex relationship between Josh’s mother and visiting grandmother, add resonance to the deeper account of a nine-year-old’s first struggles to find his place in the world and at home. Grades 3-5. --Thom Barthelmess

Review

A warmhearted tale ... the author builds to a climax infused with the sense of the miraculous, leverages happy endings all around. -- Kirkus

Original, well-crafted, and touching, Cowley's story begs to be read aloud-over and over again. -- School Library Journal, starred review

[A] gentle, folksy short novel of life on the farm...Semolina steals the show. -- Horn Book
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books (May 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399247912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399247910
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
ChickenFeathers
By Joy Cowley
Book Review:

Can chickens really talk? Of course they do and more than that, they can become the best friend of boys like Joel. He lived on the farm with his parents who through the courtesy of all the hens on the property, produce and sell eggs. Semolina was Joel's friend and she could talk freely to Joel but the rest of the people on the chicken farm couldn't understand what she was saying. She was quite different to the rest farm chickens and as well as living in the house with Joel she had developed a taste for Grandma's home made brew.

This is a fun book and has hilarious moments mostly centred around Semolina, her attitude and her relationship with the family and with her friend Joel. Being a chicken she had access to lots of information that Joel would like particularly what it was that was removing some eggs from the laying pens. So great was Semolina's attraction to Grandma's brew that she used her knowledge of a big red fox to attempt to bribe Joel for some more.

If you combine a sassy talking chicken which lives in the bedroom of Joel and which sometimes puts chicken poop on the floor, and even more sassy Grandma and a busy family, you can bet that there is going to be a lot of fun.

Joy Cowley is a very competent writer with a great sense of humour and this book, written so humourously would make a great birthday, Christmas or plain present. Try it and find out.

This is a 5 star book and children 8 to 14 will enjoy it totally.

Reviewed by Tom Hampstead author of the soon to be published "The Kingdom of the Two Great Houses"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, we read a LOT of books. Loved this book!! It is rare to find a good chapter book that both My son and I really like. I read it to my 8 year old son who really loved it too. He read some of it to me too. Semolina the chicken is so funny!! The story is captivating and very well written. One of the things I liked about it was that it was not too fantastical, like so many books written for this age group, and it was without any major traumatic events (i.e parent dies, friend dies, etc) that kids who are 7-8 really don't need to be comtemplating right now, anyway. This book would appeal to both boys and girls. I'm giving it to 2 girls for birthday presents.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! It's is fun, dynamic and provides what the brilliantly designed cover offers; a clever look into the life of a unique boy and one special chicken!!! The characters and story line make for the beginning of great lore! If you like the clevernes of the original (not that Disney stuff) Mary Poppins and the hominess of Tom Sawyer, you'll love this book too!

I'm soooooo waiting for the SECOND book in this chicken's saga! I *must* see what happens next summer!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved it, my kids say it was really good. We bought for a school project, and then gave it to freind to read, they also loved it
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By charlee on November 20, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
LOVE this book
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