Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Trouble With Chickens (J.J. Tully Mystery #1)” as Want to Read:
The Trouble With Chickens (J.J. Tully Mystery #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Trouble With Chickens (J.J. Tully Mystery #1)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,871 Ratings  ·  449 Reviews
J.J. Tully is a former search-and rescue dog who is trying to enjoy his retirement after years of performing daring missions saving lives. So he’s not terribly impressed when two chicks named Dirt and Sugar (who look like popcorn on legs) and their chicken mom show up demanding his help to track down their missing siblings. Driven by the promise of a cheeseburger, J.J. beg ...more
ebook, 144 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Balzer + Bray (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Trouble With Chickens, please sign up.

Recent Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Maureen Milton
I got this book from the library because I thought it might appeal to some of the Primaries, newly hatched readers who are now studying things that hatch. It seemed a perfect match, but this title, "The Trouble With Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery," like some of Cronin's other work, suffers from confusion of audience. In tone and language, this book wants to parody Raymond Chandler's "private dick on a case." However, I suspect that few children of Primary age are familiar with "The Long Goodbye, ...more
Mark Flowers
Apr 01, 2011 Mark Flowers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as Click Clack Moo (as brilliant as I find that book) raised questions about how many young readers would be familiar with typewriters, so this novel raises the question with regard to detective fiction (a question it shares with the Chet Gecko series). I don't necessarily have a problem with parodying adult genres in children's lit, but it seems like you'd want to pick a genre kids are likely to be familiar with through TV or movies.

Nevertheless, I don't have that problem - I've read Raym
Dec 09, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children starting to read chapter books
This is a fun mystery for kids. The narrative is entertaining and has a bit of a hardboiled edge to it, with some acerbic wit and wry commentary.

The story is told from two perspectives, the detective (J.J. Tully) and his foe (Vince the funnel). The first time we noticed the change in perspective, we were a bit confused, but then we realized that the icon at the top of the page at the beginning of each chapter marked the switch in narrator and we were better prepared for the shift as we continue
The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin is an adorable children’s chapter book. J.J. Tully had a fantastic career as a search and rescue dog, and from the start of the story, he is currently enjoying retirement. As this is a story, we know things don’t stay quite so peaceful for J.J. One day two chicks, Dirt and Sugar, and the mother hen, Hazel, come to J.J. asking for help in tracking down the missing siblings with the promise of a cheeseburger for a reward.

Read the rest of my review by clic
Dec 02, 2014 Nate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: obob-2015, 2014
This was a short and fun read with all the elements of a typical mystery novel. The story is told from JJ's hard-boiled point of view, and involves a cast of characters made up of dogs and chickens. There's a lot of humor here, and I recommend this for all ages. There are many illustrations, and the story takes place over 4th of July weekend, so this could be a fun, shared read to while away a hot summer afternoon. The spoilers below are character notes for our OBOB team.

(view spoiler)
Cheiree Domet
I chose this book because Paige stated that she liked animals and mysteries. "The Trouble With Chickens" has both. It is a cute story that keeps you guessing "whodunit" until the end. There are animals that can relate to any friends you may have, a mother hen (literally), an evil doer and our hero. Just reading the back of the book is book hook enough. "It was a hot, sunny day when I met that crazy chicken..." but I'd tell Paige that the mystery moves along so quickly you won't want to put the b ...more
Full Title:
The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery

For Ages:

Children's Literature, Fiction, Humourous, Mystery, Animals

Reviewed and Approved by:
Girl Guides of Canada

Retirement? Pah! Not for this dedicated veteran of search-and-rescue! J.J. Tully is about to embark on his next great case, with the help of two feebly chicks, Dirt and Sugar, "who look like popcorn on legs." Their two little siblings are missing and J.J is the only one who dares to solve this mystery!

With th
J.J. is a retired search-and-rescue dog that now spends his days lazing about on the farm with his trainer, Barb. This is far from his idea of a perfect life, and he finds himself frustrated and bored more often than not.

Enter Moosh, a mama chicken with a mystery to solve, and her two feisty chicks -- all birds that won't take no for an answer. What follows is a fast-paced whodunnit style mystery complete with an intriguingly named villain (Vince the Funnel) bent on causing problems for everyone
Sarah W
Doreen Cronin, author of Diary of a Spider, breaks into chapter books with the fast-paced, funny The Trouble with Chickens. J. J. Tully is a retired search-and-rescue dog now living out in the country with his trainer who finds retirement less than restful when a chicken named Millicent drags him into a case. Two of her chicks are missing, and Millicent is insistent J.J. find them even if the mother chicken doesn't have a clue what a dog charges for work (A hint is that chicken feed won't buy a ...more
Mar 25, 2011 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an Advance Reader's Copy of The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin through Librarything's Early Review program. I was not compensated for my review.

I was both excited and wary about reading this book. I love Doreen Cronin's picture books: Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type and Diary of a Worm are two of my favorites. Yet, I wasn't sure how her creative picture book style would translate to chapter book format.

She handles the transition beautifully. This is a book that will have appea
Feb 21, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jonathan Joseph Tully, a retired Search and Rescue dog, is hired by worried mother Millicent to find her two missing chicks, Poppy and Sweetie – but this SAR mission is not as simple as it seems.

The Trouble with Chickens is the kind of book that will make you stop and read aloud hilarious sentences to anyone nearby. Cronin has taken a very simple missing-child mystery and turned it into something much denser. Younger readers may not fully appreciate all the humor of J.J.’s detective style, but
Dec 06, 2010 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Move over Sam Spade! Make way for Jonathan Joseph Tully (J.J. for short), retired search-and-rescue dog. J.J.'s reputation as a problem-solver sends Moosh, a chicken with a big problem, his way. Try as he may, he can't get rid of the determined mother hen, so they come to an agreement. He won't work for children feed, but he will work for a cheeseburger. Moosh has a missing chick, and J.J. sets out to find it, running "afowl" of a scheming dachshund along the way.

Young readers won't find a singl
"Illustrations large and small are generously sprinkled throughout and serve to emphasize the humorous content. Kevin Cornell does a great job painting J.J. every shade of cranky, from mildly irritated to full-on furious, and the chickens and chicks are likewise expressive. I think it's the villain of this book, the demented Vince the Funnel (what a great name!) that I like the best, though. Glowering from the depths of his veterinary lampshade, Vince is thrillingly evil and ludicrous at the sam ...more
Pop Bop
May 10, 2015 Pop Bop rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Noir Is Great For Younger Readers

I really like noir style chapter and middle grade books. That style perfectly suits the reading skills and interests of the readers. Short, punchy sentences. Clean, crisp prose. Lots of energetic and colorful descriptions and comparisons. (Here's a description of two peeps - "They were half yellow, half white - like fuzzy popcorn kernels with feet." That's funny, richly descriptive, clever and just the right mental picture for a young reader to get.) The plots ar
Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
Η αλήθεια είναι πως όταν πήρα "Τα Τζιμάνια" στα χέρια μου, δεν ένιωσα αυτό που λέμε, ενθουσιασμό. Για κάποιον αδιευκρίνιστο λόγο αισθάνθηκα μια κάποια αντιπάθεια απέναντι στο βιβλίο, εξού και απέμεινε στην άκρη για αρκετό καιρό. Να φταίει το μπλε χρώμα του εξωφύλλου, να φταίνε τα κοτόπουλα, ποιος ξέρεις; Όταν, όμως, ξέμεινα από επιλογές, και ο γιος μου επέμενε να διαβάσουμε κάτι καινούργιο, υπέκυψα στις πιέσεις του. Και πραγματικά, παρά που δεν το περίμενα, βρέθηκα μπροστά σε μια ευχάριστη έκπλη ...more
John Briggs
Jul 20, 2014 John Briggs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a parody of the hard-boiled detective novels of the '40s and '50s, but your young reader doesn't have to know anything about Sam Spade or Mike Hammer to get the jokes or follow the story. I think I got more out of the parody than my ten-year-old son, but he laughed in the right places and knew this wasn't to be taken seriously. It was a quick read for him, and held his interest throughout. The detective's internal monologues are as clipped and sardonic as if Raymond Chandler or Mick ...more
Olivia R
The Trouble with chickens is a book about a dog named J.J Tully who is a retired rescue and search dog who lives a perfect life on a farm with his trainer Barb. Millicent is a mother of four children (the chickens). Millicent’s four 4 children are named Little Boo, Peep, Poppy, and Sweetie. This story is a mystery about Poppy and Sweetie are missing and J.J. a retired rescue dog who’s mission is to find them. J.J. has to find clues to where them chicks could be at.
I liked this book because it
Tiana B
My book review is about a book called "The Trouble with Chickens." The book is about a dog named J.J. and his friend Millicent. J.J. calls Millicent Moosh. Moosh has 4 chicks named Little Boo, Peep, Poppy, and Sweetie. J.J. made nick names for Little Boo and Peep. He called them Dirt and Sugar. One day Moosh shows up at J.J.'s dog house and he becomes curious to why. J.J. notices that there are 2 little chicks playing in his food and water bowl and starts to get frustrated. Moosh tells J.J. abou ...more
As a read-alone, I'd give this 3 stars, because though the storyline is enjoyable, it's not strong, and my 8 year old was bored of it after the first few chapters on her own. However, as a read-aloud, the "voice" is so fun and packed with a cowboy-poetry-Hank-The-Cowdog-I'll-leave-the-light-on kind of presence, that vocalized, my girls were giggling and begging for more, which encouraged me to read later than bedtime and finish up in the morning during breakfast.
Apr 22, 2012 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a funny story. I bought it to read aloud to my 7 year old son but after I read the first chapter he liked it so much he wanted to go ahead and read some more on his own instead of waiting for me. He ended up finishing it in a couple of days. I read it too because I thought it was cute and I wanted to be able to talk to him about it. The chapters are short and the story moves at a pace that keeps you interested. My son is excited to read the sequel.
Sep 15, 2013 Badlydone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
My son is planning to do the Battle of the Books this year and I am reading the books on the list with him. This was our first read and I quite enjoyed it. It is a very easy-to-read book, but the plot did have some complexity and twists. The book also has different POVs without explicitly stating so, exposing kids to this technique and also making them think. Fun and easy read!
May 24, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Darsa and hooligans
A hard-boiled detective novel for young middle-grade readers--funny, if a bit of a one-trick pony. I'm pretty sure I would have liked this a lot when I was a kid (if I had deigned to read it, which I wouldn't have--animals, you know). Curious to get some kid perspectives on it. I saw this mentioned in early Newbery discussion; sure, why not?
Jul 29, 2014 Zarahi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so much fun. It is a super quick read for adults, but it is quite surprising. I didn't expect the plot would end up the way it did! I think it's a great read-aloud for 2nd, 3rd, graderss. i really liked J.J. Tully, the retired search dog and hero of the story! I want to read more about his adventures in his new home.
Cronin's made a nice transition from the easier Farmer Brown reads. She has definitely kept the brains, the wit, and the wry, dusty (well they are dogs and chickens) view of life -- so glad. Another great recommendation from a sharp reader friend of mine, so I will recommend it in turn.
Dec 25, 2015 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, owned-read
This is a reread. Originally I read it with my 4th graders 2 years ago; they weren't a fan of it, but I read it to my 1st graders this year and they LOVED it. Not as much as Chicken Squad, but still enjoyed it. I must be teaching a bunch of future detectives. ;)
Rachel Seigel
Apr 05, 2012 Rachel Seigel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely hysterical! Doreen Cronin has terrific wit, and it had me and my co-workers howling with laughter and reading passages aloud to one another. My only criticism is that I'm not sure that the 7-9 year-old age group will totally get it.
The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin is another book on my 9 year old son's Battle of the Books list. He is an "expert" on this book so I decided to read it myself as well. Here's what my son, C, said about the book:

"A dog named J.J. Tully has a chicken named Millicent come to his dog house and ask for help finding her baby chickens. J.J. was a rescue dog so he knew how to find people and she figured he could find chickens too. J.J. agrees to help in exchange for a cheeseburger. But he was
Feb 18, 2014 Jess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: eh
Recommended to Jess by: Monarch Nominee
Shelves: juniors, z_14

Honestly? Kids are going to get confused. The vocab* is too hard for kid's who'll check it out. The book looks younger than it it. It switches narrators out of nowhere for no good reason. Classic mystery references aren't something you jam into an elementary school book. J.J. gives several of the characters nicknames and the book uses both the name and the nickname and who's keeping all that straight?

*Here's some of the words in this 2nd grade book: corridor, adrenaline, debris, presume, lur
Heidi Schutt
Looking for a book to read as a family? Try Doreen Cronin's The Trouble with Chickens! It's funny! It's a mystery! It might be "eggsactly" what you're looking for! And there's a book 2 :)
Jun 11, 2013 Mac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a rescued dog trying to help a ma chicken find her missing chicks. This is a funny book,that looks long, but is a very fast read. I recommend this book for all ages.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Marty McGuire
  • Edgar Allan's Official Crime Investigation Notebook
  • The One and Only Stuey Lewis: Stories from the Second Grade
  • Sophie Simon Solves Them All
  • Lulu and the Brontosaurus
  • Clementine and the Family Meeting (Clementine, #5)
  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals, and Other Fatal Circumstances (Alvin Ho, #4)
  • The Case of the Lost Boy (The Buddy Files, #1)
  • Guinea Dog (Guinea Dog, #1)
  • Invisible Inkling
  • Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie (Eleanor, #1)
  • Anna Hibiscus (Anna Hibiscus, #1)
  • Lulu and the Duck in the Park
  • Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (Tales from Deckawoo Drive, #1)
  • The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester
  • The Fast and the Furriest
  • The Story of Diva and Flea
  • Frankly, Frannie (Frankly, Frannie #1)
Doreen Cronin was a practicing attorney in Manhattan when her first book Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type became a publishing success. But her book was not published overnight, in fact, she had written this barnyard tale even before attending law school but only received rejection letters from publishers. Five years after submitting the original manuscript she got a call from a publisher who want ...more
More about Doreen Cronin...

Other Books in the Series

J.J. Tully Mystery (2 books)
  • The Legend of Diamond Lil (J.J. Tully Mystery #2)

Share This Book

“You smell like wet dog,” said Sugar. “I am a wet dog,” I grumbled.” 0 likes
More quotes…