Bulldog Library

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency

on March 3, 2013

JF Pinkwater    •    AR Reading Level: 4.9    •    AR Points: 2.0    •    Quiz #7730

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On Thanksgiving, every family in Hoboken eats a turkey.  The Bobowicz family is no different.  Mr. Bobowicz reserved their turkey weeks ago, but when Arthur goes to pick up the turkey that his dad reserved, he finds that the store made an unfortunate mistake and that there is no turkey for them.  He goes to every food store in Hoboken looking for a turkey or any kind of fowl at all for the family’s Thanksgiving, but there is not a single bird for sale in all of Hoboken!  Desperate, Arthur stops when he sees a sign that reads:

“Professor Mazzocchi

Inventor of the Chicken System

By appointment”

Professor Mazzocchi has bred a super chicken that he sells to Arthur for 6¢/lb.  This is a remarkable deal to be sure, except that Arthur now has a 266-pound chicken named Henrietta.  How will he ever explain this to his mother?

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency is a wonderfully absurd and delightfully humorous book.  This is a quirky story that is augmented by equally quirky illustrations drawn in a very stylized and cartoonish way.  Readers will laugh at the absurdity of the premise: a gigantic super chicken lost in city and frightening its citizens while searching for potatoes to eat.  Readers will also laugh at the over-the-top cast of characters that includes a mad scientist, a charlatan chicken bounty hunter, and a whole lot of bumbling politicians.

This is a short book, but it is quite a fun read and well worth the time for anyone who enjoys a silly story!

Genre: Science Fiction  •  Interest Level: grades 4-8

Pinkwater, D. (1999). The Hoboken chicken emergency. Pinkwater, J. (ill.). New York, NY : Anthem Books for Young Readers.

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