The Chicken Dance

Author: Jacques Couvillon
Lexile Level: 1020L
My recommended reading age: 10 and up

Great news... the Schmidt family has inherited a chicken farm. Bad news... they must live on it for 10 years with no less than 25 chickens at all times.  Worse news... Mrs. Schmidt hates chickens and everything about them~ life is pretty dreary for Don Schmidt.  He's living with an apathetic father and a "wants to be a star" mother, eating TV dinners for every meal, and constantly being reminded of how great his older sister Dawn was before she died.  Until suddenly Don becomes the town's most popular kid when, at the age of only 12, he wins first place in the Horse-Island chicken judging contest!  In this town where eggs are better than money, chicken smarts are the key to popularity, and life for Don is finally looking up.  That is until the story of his sister's death starts coming unraveled, and Don discovers that his parents are keeping a few fowl secrets of their own.

Ok, I admit, I picked up this book at a garage sale for 50 cents.  Please don't laugh that I actually read it.  I had no idea what it was about, and the chicken under a disco ball on the cover didn't inspire high hopes.  Luckily you can't go too wrong for a couple of quarters, and at the end of the book, it was definitely worth that much.  The Chicken Dance was a funny tale of a boy in a weird life, who is just trying to make the best of things.  The story was a bit quirky (big shock I know), but overall, it was a fun light book that juvenille readers will find either really funny or really strange.  Don't worry about anything offensive in the book, chickens are a fairly safe bet after all.  There is a bit of cheating that the author portrays as "for the greater good", and none of the parents portrayed are much better then chicken poop, but this book is so far from reality that I don't see this as being a big problem.


1 comment:

  1. Of course, you could make someone want to read this book. Funny review, for sure!


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