Monday, January 28, 2013

City Chickens

by Christine Heppermann
various photo credits
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | 2012
Bok bok! Get it here.

This is a truly lovely story about a chicken rescue organization in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Yes, you read that correctly. Mary Britton Clouse and her husband, Bert, run Chicken Run Rescue--devoted to providing rehabilitation and adoption services for chickens in the Twin Cities.

Apparently (who knew?), chickens are often abandoned or abused. Many people discard of roosters after they find out they are roosters rather than hens who will lay eggs. And Mary Clouse has no tolerance for any mistreatment of any animal. She and Bert have a permit to house up to 20 chickens at a time in their home and yard in the city. (Of course, that didn't help the time there were 105 abandoned chicks on the side of the highway--that story is one of the highlights of the book.)

Heppermann is a longtime Horn Book Magazine reviewer, and she tells this story with a deftness and with a clear alacrity for her topic. Any child reader will delight in reading about how chickens are rescued and adopted by families.

The book is appended with Clouse's artwork, a good, long author's note, and information about how to care for a city chicken yourself. There is also info for educators and a source list. 

(L to R): Bert and Mary Clouse, the author's daughter, the author.

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