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Book Review: The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin


The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin is another book on my 9 year old son's Battle of the Books list. He is an "expert" on this book so I decided to read it myself as well. Here's what my son, C, said about the book:

"A dog named J.J. Tully has a chicken named Millicent come to his dog house and ask for help finding her baby chickens. J.J. was a rescue dog so he knew how to find people and she figured he could find chickens too. J.J. agrees to help in exchange for a cheeseburger. But he wasn't very happy about having to help chickens.

"I liked that it was a mystery. It was hard to figure out. It was kind of written like a Kane Chronicles book because it was written from two points of view: JJ's and Vince's. Vince is another dog who lives in the house. He has a gigantic funnel on his head because of chronic ear infections."

From my perspective as an adult, The Trouble with Chickens was just okay. J.J. Tully is a sleuth. The book is written like an old-fashioned detective story with J.J. narrating most of it. Here's how the book starts:
It was a hot, sunny day when I met that crazy chicken. So hot that sometimes I think the whole thing may have been a mirage. But mirages don't have chicken breath, mister.
As C mentioned, Vince does also narrate a bit of the story, but not much. Most of it reminded me of one of those old TV shows with the private investigators who had the voice-over narration about what was happening. I thought it was cute, but can't see how a kid would "get" this style, and I don't think C really did even though he liked the book overall.

The story itself was decent, and the mystery held my interest. I just didn't think it was a great book.

C, however, rated the book 4/5, while I rated it 3/5.

This review was written based on a copy of The Trouble of Chickens that I won a couple years ago in a giveaway.

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