Joshua lives with his parent on a farm with three thousand chickens. Joshua has been around chickens so long that he knows just about everything that there is to know about a chicken. But then Joshua meets Semolina who is quite different from any other chicken he’s ever seen.
Joshua’s father Tucker gives Semolina to his son one day. “She’s a character this one… Too old to lay, fights with the other chickens,” Tucker says. But Joshua likes the scruffy old chicken with ragged feathers nonetheless.
Then Joshua learns the truth about Semolina. The old chicken can talk just a like a human. Joshua tries to tell his parents but they don’t believe him. Unfortunately Semolina has a tendency to get Joshua in big trouble. It all starts with Semolina’s taste for Grandma’s brew, a homemade alcoholic ale.
When Joshua is caught getting some of the brew for Semolina, he gets in trouble, and his parents don’t believe that he is actually getting it for his crazy pet chicken.Semolina feels bad about it so she tells Joshua an important secret: where all the missing eggs in the henhouse are going.
Little do Joshua and Semolina realize, but before long it will unleash a chain of events that will threaten Semolina’s life.
“Chicken Feathers” is a touching story with multiple levels that every reader can enjoy. The relationship between Joshua and Semolina is only one part of the story. Joy Cowley also does a good job showing Joshua’s relationship with Annalee, a girl that he climbed trees with last summer, but who has now suddenly grown up and started painting her fingernails. Yet another side theme in the story revolves around Joshua’s mother’s pregnancy. Joshua’s mom is in danger of losing her baby, so she has been confined to the hospital. Semolina tries to comfort Joshua with her gruff words:
She hopped onto his knee, her claws sharp through his jeans, and clacked her beak. “Aw, aw,” she crooned…. Her feathers quivered as a sigh went through her. “Eggs is easier,” she said. “They only take three weeks to hatch.”These multiple focuses in the story combine to make “Chicken Feathers” an enjoyable book that I am sure all young readers will enjoy reading.
Inkweaver Book Rating: