BOOKS
Are You Ready To Hatch an Unusual Chicken?
Are You Ready To Hatch an Unusual Chicken? 320p. Knopf. Nov. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781524765910. POP
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Gr 3– 6—Sophie Brown and her chickens are back in the sequel to Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer and they've got a new challenge. After inheriting Redwood Farm, Sophie is determined to hatch chicks and return the farm back to its former glory. When her new brood arrives, she discovers that one of her chicks may be even more unusual than those she's raising. An inspection from the Unusual Poultry Committee will ultimately decide if Sophie can continue her work on the farm, and she and her friends are determined to pass. Fans of Sophie's first foray into farming will be delighted with the humor, heart, and chicken-hatching tips galore in this charming follow-up. Sophie continues to mature as a determined, relatable middle schooler who experiences the everyday concerns of fitting in at school and learning responsibility, along with raising magical animals. Acknowledgement of Sophie's Mexican American identity and the prejudice she experiences give this book additional depth and nuance. Most heartwarming is the depiction of the loving family and community that surrounds and supports her; it takes a village to raise unusual chickens as well as a 12-year-old girl.
VERDICT A funny and relatable realistic fantasy sure to be enjoyed by farm-dwellers, urbanites, and everyone between.

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