Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chicken Boy (MG)


Chicken Boy. Frances O'Roark Dowell. 2005. Simon & Schuster. 208 pages.

You might have heard about the time my granny got arrested on the first day of school.

Do chickens have souls? Tobin McCauley, our narrator, would have said no, of course not. At least at the beginning. But that was before. Before he made a best friend, Henry. Before he met Harrison, Henry's younger chicken-obsessed brother. Now, chickens are part of his life. And he feels quite differently about the matter.

Tobin doesn't have an easy life. His mom died of cancer. His dad is absent most of the time. If not physically, at least emotionally. His brothers and sister, well, they're not the protective care-giving type. The house is a mess. And don't even think about the kitchen. The stacks of dirty dishes. The lack of food. No, Tobin doesn't have an easy life. But he does have his Granny. Some of the time at least. She isn't the most lovable of grandmothers. But she's his. And that's all that matters.

But Tobin is about to learn a bit about life and friendship. By taking care of chickens, can he learn to take care of himself?

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
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Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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