The Hoboken Chicken Emergency
by Daniel Pinkwater
When Arthur Bobowicz is sent out to bring home the family’s Thanksgiving turkey, he returns instead with Henrietta — a six-foot, 266 pound chicken with a mind of her own. Arthur’s mom refuses to serve the “superchicken,” which is fine because Arthur has started to grow fond of her. But then Henrietta wanders off alone, and dreadful rumors of a dangerous monster in town frighten the townspeople into a panic. This hilarious tale of a boy and his chicken has tickled the funny bones of readers ever since it was published in 1977!
A Note from the First Lady:
Dear Read20 Book Club families,
As we enter into the month of November, we begin to look forward to the holidays and many special traditions around family, food, and friends that are soon to come. Our featured book this month is set around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I hope it’s the perfect read to kick off this festive, family-oriented season!
I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, because it is one of my favorite holidays! I love that Thanksgiving is simply about being grateful, and it celebrates the opportunity to enjoy a meal with loved ones. There’s no doubt that life is busy and that families are pulled many directions between work, school, friends, sports, and more. I am glad to welcome this season as a special time of year to slow down, to gather with loved ones, and to appreciate all the good things we have in our lives.
Thank you for your commitment to literacy. I hope this fall brings more opportunities to make special memories reading books with your family!
Keep up the great reading,
First Lady of Tennessee
- Arthur lives in a neighborhood with many people who have heritage in nations around the world. Compare Arthur’s shopping experience to your own experiences of shopping in your neighborhood grocery store. Have you ever visited a market like the Indian spice shop Arthur visits in the book? The "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621 to celebrate their first harvest in the New World. Research more about the history of Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims who first settled in America. Talk to the adults in your family to learn more about your own family history and where your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents grew up!
- Hoboken is a real town. Visit Hoboken’s website to get a sense of the place. What if a 266-pound chicken lived with your family in your hometown? Write your own version of this story!
- Arthur’s family ends up eating meatloaf for Thanksgiving dinner, since he wasn’t able to acquire a turkey. As it happens, the family doesn’t really like turkey, but they always have it for Thanksgiving because it’s traditional. Discuss your own Thanksgiving traditions and what your family enjoys for a Thanksgiving meal? What traditions are your favorites? Are there any you would change?
- After you finish the book of the month, you can visit your local library to check out other books that celebrate fall and the Thanksgiving holiday. You can also check out these electronic books available through Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. that will invite your family to “Fall into Reading!”