UNUSUAL CHICKENS FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL POULTRY FARMER by Kelly Jones is a charming and fun fantasy about a twelve-year-old girl who moves to a farm and stumbles upon chickens with superpowers.
With the help of family and friends Sophie becomes a poultry farmer, but faces the challenge of dealing with a chicken thief who’ll do anything to steal her special chickens.
The story unfolds in letters written by Sophie to her deceased great-uncle and grandmother. Sophie also communicates with the owner of a poultry supply company who helps her learn about raising chickens.
The author does an outstanding job seamlessly weaving in topics related to diversity without making it the focus of the story. From Sophie’s brown skin to a passing reference to Jane’s girlfriend, readers are exposed to authentic situations, relationships, and reactions. There’s even a great recipe for migas.
Katie Kath’s whimsical illustrations add to the appeal of the story and also visualize the diversity represented in the book.
Librarians will be happy to see Sophie riding her bike to the library and interacting with a caring librarian. Many readers will particularly enjoy the informational pages describing the breeds and care of chickens.
Children who enjoy farm settings, humorous stories, and animal books will be delighted to find a novel that combines all three into an engaging, fast-paced fantasy.
To learn more about the author, go to http://curiosityjones.net/.
Published by Alfred A. Knopf (Random House) on May 12, 2015.