Chicken Feathers by Joy Cowley
Have you ever had a pet that touched your life? Joshua has a pet chicken that talks to him - only him. Joshua lives on a chicken farm with his parents, three thousand chickens, and his pet chicken, Semolina. Eggs are disappearing and only Semolina knows why they are vanishing.
It is going to be a long summer because Joshua's mom is confined to the hospital until her baby is born. Joshua is busy helping at the farm and making a boat. He builds a real boat all by himself even though he is only nine years old. His father, Tucker, is busy himself. Tucker's mother-in-law comes to help. One thing grandma has to put up with is washing a quilt because Semolina hangs out in Joshua's bedroom. Joshua has a crush on neighbor Annalee. Annalee and his mom guide Joshua through his hard times. His mom uses religious quotes to give Joshua support. They all listen to each. They all grow together.
This is a wonderful read-aloud book on several levels. It includes multiple generations and it provokes meaningful discussion. Joy Cowley might be familiar to older generations because of her classic Mrs. Wishy-Washy. The older children might have spied the illustrations of David Elliot because he did some of the Redwall series with Brian Jacques. There are two, absolutely, don't-you-dare-miss sections. One is the tale of snow and the other is the tale of the sun through the perspective of the chickens. How creative !!!!!!!!