When 12-year-old Sophie Brown's great-uncle Jim dies, she and her parents move into his run-down farm. Her dad has lost his job and her mom, a journalist, is busy meeting deadlines. Moving from L. A. to a quiet farm is difficult for Sophie who notices the lack of other brown faces, except for her mailman Gregory. She sees a flyer in the barn for The Redwood Farm Supply advertising unusual chickens for the exceptional poultry farmer and begins to write to them for a catalog and advice. She discovers a little hen house on the property and then an angry chicken with apparent super powers shows up. Other unusual chickens arrive one by one and Sophie begins to learn all she can about the care and keeping of chickens. When someone tries to steal her chickens, Sophie finds a way to assert herself and protect her flock. Sophie also endearingly writes letters to her Abuelita (recently deceased), which helps her feel more connected to her Mexican heritage. You will cheer for Sophie as she becomes an exceptional poultry farmer, which begins to help heal the family and also begins to revitalize the farm. The illustrations very funny, adding to this uplifting story.— From Holiday Picks 2015
Fans of Katherine Applegate and Erin Entrada Kelly will love this quirky story of a determined girl, and some extraordinary chickens.
Twelve-year-old Sophie Brown feels like a fish out of water when she and her parents move from Los Angeles to the farm they’ve inherited from a great-uncle. But farm life gets more interesting when a cranky chicken appears and Sophie discovers the hen can move objects with the power of her little chicken brain: jam jars, the latch to her henhouse, the entire henhouse....
And then more of her great-uncle’s unusual chickens come home to roost. Determined, resourceful Sophie learns to care for her flock, earning money for chicken feed, collecting eggs. But when a respected local farmer tries to steal them, Sophie must find a way to keep them (and their superpowers) safe.
Told in letters to Sophie’s abuela, quizzes, a chicken-care correspondence course, to-do lists, and more, Unusual Chickens is a quirky, clucky classic in the making.
About the Author
KELLY JONES has worked as a librarian and a bookseller, and now turns her talents to fiction. Her first book, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, was an Indies Introduce Pick, an ALA Notable Book, an SLJ Best Book, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book. You can find her at her website: curiosityjones.net, or on Twitter: @curiosityjones.
KATIE KATH earned an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design and works as a freelance illustrator. You can learn more about her work at ktkath.com.
"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