Synopses & Reviews
Tobin Mccauley's got a near-certifiable grandmother, a pack of juvenile-delinquent siblings, and a dad who's not going to win father of the year any time soon. To top it off, Tobin's only friend truly believes that the study of chickens will reveal...the meaning of life? Getting through seventh grade isn't easy for anyone, son, but when the first day of school starts out with your granny's arrest, you know you've got real problems. Throw on five-day suspension (for defending your English teacher's honor), a chicken that lays green eggs, and a family feud that's tearing everyone to pieces, and you're in for one heck of a ride. andlt;BRandgt; With her remarkable ability to create characters you wish could be part of your life forever, Frances O'Roark Dowell introduces Tobin McCauley, Chicken Boy.
"As sensitively wrought if not quite as engrossing as Dowell's Dovey Coe, this slice-of-life novel shows the hurt, pride and hidden potential of a boy from a dysfunctional family. When Toby McCauley enters seventh grade, everyone expects him to be as much a troublemaker as his older siblings and as 'crazy' as his grandmother, who gets arrested after driving up the sidewalk to drop Toby off at junior high for his first day of school. Upholding McCauley tradition, Toby does play the role of a rebel at first, peeving Coach Kelly by refusing to change his clothes for P.E. and earning himself a suspension for getting into a fight. It isn't until he finds a friend in classmate Henry, an aspiring chicken farmer, that Toby begins to turn things around. Using economical prose, colorfully strewn with rural dialect, the author traces how Toby, previously a loner, learns to trust people outside the McCauley clan as he helps Henry and his younger brother raise chickens. If Toby doesn't share Henry's passion for hens (at least at first), he does appreciate his friend's stable home life and gentle encouragement to embrace rather than resist opportunities to excel. Once again displaying a keen ear for dialogue and a skill for painting pictures with words, the author creates a story of friendship and family conflict that is both heart-wrenching and heartwarming. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
* "This is a refreshingly well-written encounter with richly developed and well-defined characters whom readers won't soon forget."
"What will grab readers are Tobin's wry, sad, immediate voice...and Dowell's depiction of adults."
-- Booklist, starred review
* "Tobinand#8217;s own blossoming, through friendship, and the rediscovery of his family, and the love for and of his chickens, is entirely satisfyingand#8212;just right."
* "and#8230;strong narration and the child's struggle with forgiveness make for poignant, aching drama."
The bestselling author of "Dovey Coe" introduces an unforgettable new character--seventh-grader Tobin McCauley, whose life in a very dysfunctional household is compounded by his only friend's belief that the study of chickens will reveal the meaning of life.
About the Author
andnbsp;Frances Oandrsquo;Roark Dowell is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of andlt;iandgt;Dovey Coeandlt;/iandgt;, which won the Edgar Award and the William Allen White Award; andlt;iandgt;Where Iandrsquo;d Like to Beandlt;/iandgt;; the bestselling andlt;iandgt;The Secret Language of Girlsandlt;/iandgt; and its sequels andlt;iandgt;The Kind of Friends We Used to Beandlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;The Sound of Your Voice, Only Really Far Awayandlt;/iandgt;; andlt;iandgt;Chicken Boyandlt;/iandgt;; andlt;iandgt;Shooting the Moonandlt;/iandgt;, which was awarded the Christopher Medal; the Phineas L. MacGuire series; andlt;iandgt;Falling Inandlt;/iandgt;; the critically acclaimed andlt;iandgt;The Second Life of Abigail Walkerandlt;/iandgt;; andlt;iandgt;Anybody Shining;andlt;/iandgt; and the teen novel andlt;iandgt;Ten Miles Past Normalandlt;/iandgt;. She lives with her husband and two sons in Durham, North Carolina. Connect with Frances online at FrancesDowell.com.