Unusual Chickens For the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones Book Review

Unusual Chickens For the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones
Illustrations by Katie Kath
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 12, 2015

Twelve-year-old Sophie Brown does not feel at home on the farm her family has inherited. Not only does her family know very little about running a farm, but they are also the only brown family in the area. Farm life begins to get more interesting though when Sophie discovers a hen that can move objects with her little chicken brain. Yes, she has a chicken that can use the force. It turns out that her great-uncle has more than one exceptional chicken. One can disappear. Another runs so fast that she can't catch it. Determined to take care of her unusual flock, Sophie learns how to feed her chickens, collect eggs, and even how to show them. That will be difficult though, because there is a woman in town who may just be trying to steal her chickens.

Being a city kid, what little I know about chickens could be summed up on one hand. Of course, as city chicken raising is becoming popular, I know a few people who have them in their backyards. (one of them will be receiving this book as a present) What I loved about this book was that it had all the trappings of a good story with some learning mixed in that never felt didactic. Throughout the story, Sophie is learning about how to feed her chickens and how much, to harvest the eggs, how to house them. She receives lessons from the person who originally owned her unusual chickens. Yet, the story is really about the fact that there is a chicken thief on the loose who is desperately trying to steal Sophie's extraordinary chickens. And I won't tell you the end, but I was very pleased with the outcome. With quick pacing, an interesting unique topic, a force-wielding chicken, and cute illustrations, this book is perfect for those who do and don't have chickens in their lives.