When Daniel finds out that his class is going to hatch chicks as a science project, he is thrilled. He's sure that his parents will let him adopt Peepers, who is his favorite. But who ever guessed that chicks could run amok and get into so much trouble?! This warmhearted chapter book about an environmentally-conscious family's experiment with poultry farming will provide plenty of clucks and lots of chuckles for young readers.
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The Secret Chicken Society

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When Daniel finds out that his class is going to hatch chicks as a science project, he is thrilled. He's sure that his parents will let him adopt Peepers, who is his favorite. But who ever guessed that chicks could run amok and get into so much trouble?! This warmhearted chapter book about an environmentally-conscious family's experiment with poultry farming will provide plenty of clucks and lots of chuckles for young readers.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
Daniel, a third grader, is in the perfect class at school! He has learned about caterpillars, tadpoles, and butterflies. Then his teacher, Mrs. Lopez, announces the class will raise chicks from eggs and that some students will get to take home a chick after the project ends. Daniel's wary Mom finally agrees to let him have a chick, but for one reason or another, Daniel ends up with five chicks instead of one. Soon his dad, his brother, and his sisters are all raising chicks. Mr. Grafalo, Daniel's cranky neighbor, does not approve of the chickens, even though his wife, Mrs. Grafalo, who ends up moving to a nursing home, loves them. A big plus is that Daniel's city of Portland allows people to have chickens within the city limits—if they are hens. Soon, a problem arises when Peepers, Daniel's favorite chick, turns out to be a rooster and starts crowing! Daniel and his siblings form the Secret Chicken Society in an effort to hide Peepers. Their mission fails and all seems lost until Peepers is accepted at the nursing home where Mrs. Grafalo lives. Readers/listeners from ages five through ten will readily identify with the rib-tickling antics of the book's characters. This book's plot is intriguing because threads of environmental awareness are woven into the story. In addition, the role reversal of parents—Mom works outside the house and Dad stays home—is refreshing. The delightful, fast-paced tale is enhanced with whimsical black and white illustrations. The text and illustrations contain humor that is sure to keep kids laughing. Excellent non-fiction information about raising chicks is contained in the story and more is offered in Daniel's Egg Journal at the back of the book. Add this book and others by award-winning author Judy Cox, to classroom and library shelves to encourage reading. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—A funny story with endearing characters both human and fowl, this is a great choice for readers just moving on to chapter books. Daniel's third-grade class is going to hatch chicks, and he hopes to take one home when the project ends. His mother reluctantly agrees to one, but Daniel ends up with five, setting up the family for lots of chaos. The Secret Chicken Society is, uh, hatched when Daniel realizes that one of the chicks is not a hen but a rooster, and roosters are forbidden within city limits thanks to their noisy nature. The club's purpose is to keep Peepers a secret from the police and a grumpy neighbor. After several flawed attempts to muffle the bird, Daniel's deceit comes home to roost, and the rooster is a sitting duck. The boy, though, comes up with a great compromise, and all's well that ends well. Humorous cartoons are scattered throughout the text. While it is descriptive and action-packed, the story is not dense, making it both accessible and rewarding.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Kirkus Reviews
Daniel, who loves all animals, learns a lot about chickens when he takes five chicks home. When Mrs. Lopez announces that her third-grade class is going to hatch eggs, Daniel can hardly contain his enthusiasm. Daniel hopes a lot of eggs will hatch and that he will get to bring one of the chicks home, even though his mother has declared, "No more animals!" He ends up with five chicks, and the challenges begin. First, his neighbor, former principal Mr. Grafalo, dislikes the chicks, while Mrs. Grafalo, who loves them, has to move to a nursing home. Then there are the challenges of building a coop and keeping the chicks safe from dogs and coyotes. And when Peepers, Daniel's favorite chick, grows up to be a rooster, Daniel breaks the local ordinance forbidding roosters. A quick, kid-friendly plot, amusing black-and-white illustrations and lots of interesting chicken facts make this a great choice for animal-loving chapter-book readers. Children who hatch classroom chicks will nod in recognition every step of the way. Many municipalities are now allowing backyard chickens; this story will help explain poultry keeping. It's nice, too, to read about a mom who works outside the home and a father who works at home, taking care of day-to-day life. Chickens and children are lucky to live in this family. (Fiction. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823430819
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/24/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 88
  • Sales rank: 190,565
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 450L (what's this?)
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Judy Cox is a former grade school teacher who is now a full-time author. Her chapter books have been compared by critics to the books of Beverly Cleary. A native of the San Francisco area, she has lived and taught in Arizona, Idaho, and Oregon. Her website is www.judycox.net.
Amanda Haley has written and illustrated picture books and easy readers as well as designed paper goods and stationery. Booklist praised her "large, sweet, colorful" illustrations for Reading to Peanut by Leda Schubert. She lives in Ohio.
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