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Chickens, Superpowers, and Engaging Quizzes in A Hilarious Novel for Middle Grade Readers

Updated on January 13, 2019
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Chickens with Superpowers

Hilarious read for middle school readers who could use some superpowers too
Hilarious read for middle school readers who could use some superpowers too | Source

Chickens with Real Superpowers Can Help with Navigation Through New School and New Friends

Do you love chickens? Sophie Brown loves her chickens and she gets to share new adventures with her chickens in a new home in Kelly Jones" Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken? with the hilarious discovery that some chickens have superpowers. Sophie receives some unusual chickens from Hortensia James along with instructions for keeping these special chickens. Sophia must collect all of the needed supplies to care for her chickens. She must have an incubator, solution to sterilize the incubator, a thermometer, a tool to measure humidity, a chicken brooder, and a special heat lamp to keep the chickens warm. Her new life on her new farm is turning out to be a lot of work and also a lot of fun. Sophia is learning to be a farmer along with raising her chickens. Sophia also discovers that there is a garden at her new school and the school also brings in visiting chickens. Sophie decides that her new school will be a cool place.

Kelly Jones has created an engaging novel for middle school readers by writing in a very different story form. Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken? is told with letters from Sophie's friends and relatives who help her with information about raising chickens, lists of informative activities and descriptions of chicken breeds, and quizzes to help with remembering all of the things that are necessary to raise great chickens. She also includes recipes for delicious food items to make with the berries that Sophie is learning to grow on the farm. Katie Kath contributes her talents as an illustrator with adorable black and white illustrations of chickens, the written lists, the Chicken Awards that are given to deserving chickens. and Sophie's written recordings of descriptions of her chickens. Young readers who might never have seen chickens will find this an engaging and entertaining read that also is educational. Young readers who live on a farm will find Sophie's life on Blackbird Farm to be an experience that they can relate to. There is also a touch of diversity with Sophie's friends who are Hispanic.

Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken? was published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin/Random House Children's Books. it is recommended for ages 8-12 and has an ISBN of 978-1-5247-6591-0.

Creative Black and White Illustrations Add Interest to This Creative Story

Sophie raises great chickens!
Sophie raises great chickens! | Source
Sophie learns about the variety of breeds of chickens
Sophie learns about the variety of breeds of chickens | Source
Chicken Awards given to deserving chickens
Chicken Awards given to deserving chickens | Source

Bring Sophie and Her Chickens Into the Classroom

Kelly Jones' Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken? is a delightful book for teachers who teach reading, language arts, and even science courses for middle school students. Her creatively written story has a wealth of curriculum ideas for ages 8-12.

*Read Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken? in a group read-aloud session with individual chapters read throughout the week or even a month.

*Call attention to the letters and emails that Sophie receives from her friends. These letters and emails offer students the opportunity to practice their own letter writing and email writing skills. Assign a creative writing project for students to compose their own letters to Sophie about her chickens.

*Call attention to the illustrations that are included with Sophie's descriptions of the variety of breeds of chickens that she is raising. Assign a creative writing project for students to choose a breed of chicken and write their own description of their favorite breed.

*Take a class poll of students who have visited a farm before or who might live on a farm. You might take the opportunity to visit a farm in your community as a class field trip.

*Sophie's school has a garden. Your students might like to begin a school garden to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. Jones includes a recipe for blackberry crisp. Cooking is always a popular activity for middle school students. Students might like to prepare this recipe or make a dish from their fruits or vegetables grown in the school garden.

*Jones also includes a quiz to answer questions about items that are needed for Sophie's chickens. Prepare a quiz for your students after reading. Assign a creative writing project for students to prepare their own quizzes after reading.

*Prepare science experiments with eggs.

© 2019 Cindy Hewitt


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