Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones, illustrated by Katie Kath

 Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Summary:  12-year-old Sophie’s family has recently moved to the farm her father inherited from his Uncle Jim.  Her dad is recently unemployed and her mom is a freelance writer trying to pay the bills, so Sophie is left to her own devices to explore the farm.  She discovers a mysterious and unusual chicken named Henrietta living on the property, and soon a few more supernatural chickens show up, along with a potential chicken thief.  Sophie embarks on a correspondence with a mysterious woman named Agnes who supposedly runs Redwood Farm Supply, and who offers Sophie encouragement and chicken advice.  Told entirely in letters to Great Uncle Jim, Agnes,  and her deceased grandmother, the story follows Sophie as she figures out both the chickens and the humans in her new community.  Ages 8-12.

Pros:  Sophie is a likeable character, and the chickens with supernatural powers add an interesting element to the story.  The plentiful illustrations, quizzes, chicken manual excerpts, and other documents are a nice addition to Sophie’s letters.

Cons:  Although this book has gotten great reviews, I had a tough time getting through it. The story didn’t grab me, and I’m just not that into chickens.

2 thoughts on “Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones, illustrated by Katie Kath

  1. Hmmm, the only one I’m aware of is “The Hoboken Chicken Emergency” by Daniel Pinkwater, which is actually the source of the name of the chicken in this book. So I’m not aware of this theme. But I haven’t read that many chicken books. Enough, but not that many.


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