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Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer Hardcover – May 12, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Sophie Brown is new to farm life, new to being one of the only "brown people" in town (the others being her mother and Gregory, the mailman), and definitely new to caring for chickens—and these are some challenging chickens. To help herself adjust to life away from Los Angeles and her extended family, she writes letters to her great-uncle Jim and her beloved Abuelita, both recently deceased, and embarks on a correspondence course in poultry care with the mysterious Agnes of Redwood Farm Supply. Agnes's poorly typed responses assure Sophie that the chickens that keep turning up on the farm (including Henrietta, a small white hen with a permanent unibrow of fury) belonged to her great-uncle, from whom Sophie's father inherited the farm and who implores her to keep the chickens safe—and to be careful. But how will she protect chickens that are capable of levitating their own coop, becoming invisible, and turning enemies to stone? And why does the town's resident chicken expert, Ms. Griegson, seem intent on stealing Sophie's brood? Told in letters, quizzes, newspaper clippings, and delicious ink drawings reminiscent of Quentin Blake, this middle grade epistolary novel has a little magic and a lot of warm family humor. Jones delivers a dynamic Latina protagonist in Sophie, who describes her experiences in satisfying detail: the discomfort of facing microaggressions based on her heritage (such as when the town librarian assumes that she and her family are migrant workers); love and concern for her parents, both struggling to find and keep work; and willingness to learn and grow despite typical tween self-consciousness. VERDICT Readers will cheer for Sophie and clamor for more of those amazing chickens. Exceptional, indeed.—Amy Martin, Oakland Public Library, CA
"A delightful protagonist, interesting fowl of various breeds and a cast of appealing second-string characters make this a top pick for young readers, poultry fanciers or not."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Readers will cheer for Sophie and clamor for more of those amazing chickens. Exceptional, indeed."
—School Library Journal, starred review
"Someone has finally written a real honest-to-goodness novel with chickens! This news will excite people who like novels, people who like chickens...and chickens. It is an unusual book!"
--Daniel Pinkwater, author of The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, and pioneer of chicken-lit.
"The combination of real-life emotion and otherworldly farming makes for a comedic story with the right amount of pathos."--Booklist
Top customer reviews
This is a delightful middle school book about a young girl who inherits some unusual chickens with powers. Sort of like the x-men but in chicken form.
The author captures how regular chickens are and ups the game. I thoroughly enjoyed the book but then I do have13 chickens and a rooster.
the first few times I had my first chickens out it was like I was discovering a new superpower
every time I discovered there personality and I grew to love them. I love how the girl is determined to keep them safe and she barely knew them... kept me guessing all the way... Thank you 6 stars -hen lover 😘🐔