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The Hoboken Chicken Emergency

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  1,073 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
When the butcher at Murphy's Meat Market loses the order for the Bobowicz family's Thanksgiving turkey, young Arthur brings home a chicken weighing two hundred sixty-six pounds which causes a bizarre crisis in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Audio CD, Abridged
Published June 1st 2004 by HarperChildren's Audio (first published 1977)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Monica Edinger
Oct 30, 2015 Monica Edinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful book. Can't recall if I ever read it. This time I read it aloud and my 4th graders to a one loved it. Great follow-up to Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer.
Aug 15, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
How can you not love a 266 pound potato eating pet chicken with hurt feelings?
Mar 18, 2016 EmRose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was sort of funny and sort of sad. I didn't like how they tormented Henrietta. They tormented her because she's a giant chicken and they were scared of her. I liked in the end that they treated her with respect. She was 166 lbs!!!! Some people thought she was a guerilla, some people thought she was a polar bear. Some knew she was a chicken. At the end someone bought her a giant root beer. I would recommend this book because it's funny. They started by not liking her, and it is not like ...more
Rain Misoa
Mar 09, 2012 Rain Misoa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children and People raised in Hoboken
Recommended to Rain by: Nicole Terazue A.K.A. My Best Bud!
So my friend comes to visit me for the first time in five years from up North for nine days. What do we do with our time together? A lot of stuff… and go to the library! XD I am such a nerd when it comes to books so of course I had to drag my best bud to one of the many branches my library has. I wanted to take her to all of them but, alas, there’s only so much you can do in nine days. Oh well… at least I managed to take her to one of them! Anyway, we go to one of the branches and we start brows ...more
Arthur Bobowicz is instructed by his mother to pick up the family's Thanksgiving turkey. But the butcher lost Mrs. Bobowicz's order, and has no extra turkeys to spare. Arthur trudges around Hoboken, first trying to find a turkey, and then trying to find ANY kind of bird his family could eat for Thanksgiving. Almost ready to give up, Arthur stumbles upon a sign on an apartment door advertising chickens for sale. Arthur thinks it must be some kind of shady meat vendor, but he's desperate. When he ...more
Jun 28, 2016 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun and exciting chapter book for young children! It is a story that takes place on Thanksgiving day in Hoboken, New Jersey. Arthur, the main character in the novel, goes to the meat market to find a turkey, but ends up with Henrietta, a two hundred and sixty six pound chicken.

The chapter book is engaging, fun, and exciting for readers. It is a book that you will not be able to put down! The Hoboken Chicken Emergency is a book that both adults and children will like. It has many twist
Dec 05, 2016 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-humor
A quirky story about a boy and his love for his pet, Henrietta, a 266 lb. potato loving chicken. There is plenty of silly slapstick humor with Henrietta running loose all over Hoboken and strangers mistaking her for a gorilla. The story loses steam towards the end -- everyone is too scared of Henrietta to be nice to her and as a result Henrietta becomes mean. But there is a sweet moral at the end; basically making it clear to everyone that if they are nice to Henrietta, she will be nice in retur ...more
Erin Pierce
What can I say about a book whose main character is a 266lb pet chicken that can do tricks?? This book is super funny and cute, my kids and I enjoyed it.
Mar 23, 2017 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hilariously funny little book. I love Daniel Pinkwater's sense of humor, and this tale of a giant chicken and a boy was just what I needed for a light and fun read.
Dec 06, 2015 Hollowspine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My brother brought this home over the Thanksgiving holiday, wanting to read the nostalgic book during the season when the action takes place. When their holiday order for a turkey gets lost, Arthur is sent out to get a bird, any bird. Turkeys, chickens and ducks are sold out at every grocery store in town and Arthur even checked the Indian Spice house. When he answers an advertisement for Professor Mazzochi’s super chickens he ends up returning home with a 266 pound chicken named Henrietta. Henr ...more
I read this again for the first time in years this week, and was filled with a warm, nostalgic feeling. I think I read it in class for the first time in Fourth grade, and was amused by its surreal, matter-of-fact story. Daniel Pinkwater is a master of writing bizarre, weird, funny, and human stories, filled with eccentric characters and insights into the world. Though I later came to favor Lizard Music, HCE was my introduction to the exciting, surprising, and suprisingly philospohic work of Dani ...more
Scott Baxter
Sep 21, 2014 Scott Baxter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading Pinkwater's book. It was one of Michal's favorites in second grade and he did a class project about it and I was curious to read it ever since then. Like all of Pinkwater's books, this one is filled with an absurd sense of humor as, I think, the following passage illustrates:

"But how do you get squared off goldfish?" he asked.
"Of course! My secret! I do this: I put the little baby goldfish in a medium sized tank. All around the tank I put beautiful oil paintings of the b
Oct 18, 2015 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Nobody in Arthur Bobowicz’s family really liked turkey.” But Arthur’s father insists on it for Thanksgiving dinner. “Poppa came from Poland, and he was very big on holidays, and being an American … Most of the kids in the neighborhood had the same scene at home. … They all had fathers like Arthur Bobowicz’s father—they came from Italy, and the Ukraine, and Puerto Rico, and Hong Kong. The kids were all being raised to be Americans, and everyone’s father knew that Americans eat turkey on Thanksgi ...more
Daniel Pinkwater is an expert at writing funny, quirky stories that are truly a treat to read. The Hoboken Chicken Emergency is one of those. It’s written on probably a late-elementary- to middle-school level, but personally I think it would be fun for anyone of any age, as long as they’re able to appreciate Pinkwater’s sense of humor (yes, some folks might have a problem with that). The whole tale is absolutely an absurd tall tale from start to finish. But it’s also a cute story of family and p ...more
Aug 13, 2007 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t sure about the book when it was foisted upon me by one of the children’s librarians. Chickens . . . they don’t seem that interesting. This is not the case for 266 pound chickens like Henrietta.

Arthur brings Henrietta home on Thanksgiving having failed to procure a turkey (or duck, or normal sized chicken) for his family’s holiday dinner. But, upon meeting Henrietta, the family decides she might be more pet than poultry. Chaos ensues, however, when Henrietta gets loose.

It’s a cute story
Among a pile of donated books at school was this book, which I have been wanting to read for a while. Ever since I read (and loved) Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones I was curious about the Hoboken title, then I noticed that there are all these funny chicken books out there (check out the Cronin books) so the Hoboken Chicken Emergency became a must read. I must say I read it as a paperback with yellowish pages and the print was hard on my eyes, but I stayed with ...more
Mar 12, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arthur fails to find a suitable bird for Thanksgiving dinner; instead, he buys Henrietta, a 266-pound live chicken. They soon form a bond. After he sadly has to return her, she escapes in hopes of finding him, resulting in a wide-spread state of panic throughout the town of Hoboken. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Finley, read this book to my class. However, thanks to multiple ear infections that year, I only ever heard parts of the books. So, I’m re-reading those whose titles I can recall. This wa ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
I admire any writer who can write humor for elementary age students. You have to have just the right combination of making it seem real and funny without going too far over the edge. Pinkwater does a great job with this book. Funny, touching, and just an enjoyable little book. Great for girls or boys though boys might appreciate it more. Also really more for 7 to 9 year olds than 9 to 12 year olds. I would also recommend it for reluctant readers.

The book is basically a tale of friendship betwee
Medford Children's Library
Mar 20, 2008 Medford Children's Library rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids who like comedic books
Thanksgiving is a special day for Arthur's family. They have to reserve a turkey in advance. When it is Arthur's job to retrieve the turkey, he finds there are none left. So like any rational child would do, he goes into the apartment of a mad scientist who gives him a 260 lb live super chicken named Henrietta (at the bargain price of $16). When Henrietta breaks loose all of Hoboken New Jersey goes on an angry chicken hunt. This book is humorous with a really cute moral plus I love chickens so t ...more
Arthur is sent to bring home a Thanksgiving turkey, but comes home with a 266 pound chicken, Henrietta. Instead of cooking her, Arthur keeps her as a pet. His family makes him return Henrietta to her original owner, but she escapes to find Arthur. As you can image there is all sorts of chaos in Hoboken as most residents are terrified of Henrietta. This is a very funny book and it would probably make a great read aloud.
Feb 28, 2011 Tobinsfavorite rated it really liked it
The fourth star is for the reader, who is also the author.

We borrowed this for a road trip. My kids are probably three to five years too young to really enjoy this one, but I remembered reading it as a young person myself. I was quite surprised to hear a quick reference to email, but I think the book got updated somewhere along the line.

The story is silly and speckled with very funny characters. It's worth a listen, especially if your children are a bit older than mine.
Mar 13, 2016 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
In the world of Pinkwater usually the power and the drama of the story is not the action. Usually there is not much of that. Rather, the genius of the stories that Pinkwater tells in a function of the humanity of his characters and the strange situations they must navigate. The HCE is possibly a perfect introduction to the Pinkwater-verse as all of the elements that make reading Pinkwater a joy are here in their primeval form. Join us... Join us......
Mar 15, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
recommended for EL310 at Chase Academy

The plot's a bit absurd, but that's what I loved about it. Kid goes out to pick up the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, ends up bringing home a giant chicken! I'm hoping that the 310 kids will find this book as funny as I did. The text to page ratio is a bit higher than a lot of the other books that the 310 students haven been reading, but between the illustrations and the fun plot, I think students will muster through.
So a 6ft, 266lb chicken is loose in Hoboken, what could go wrong? I found this in the library on a whim and picked it up. It's funny, I mean picture a chicken doing tricks on a playground, or just sleeping on the floor of a kids bedroom, like a dog.

This is a story about how things can be blown out of proportion, and how just a little patience and kindness can go a long way.
Nov 26, 2016 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Guh. I found this book to be so SO boring, even if it does feature a 266 pound chicken. I used this book for a third grade book group and the kids thought that it was hilarious, but it was just lost on me. I understand the significance of showing how stories can be exaggerated and that the favor of treating people kindly will be returned, so for that I can appreciate the overall sentiment.
Marilyn Belsham
I first read this book in grade 3 and it always stuck with me as being so fun and funny (to a kid) so I recently ordered it for my son who is now in grade 3 himself. And? He loves it just the same as I did. It's too bad it's hard to find this - I had to special order it - because it really should be a classic that all young kids are introduced to.
Jun 26, 2013 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, 2013
children's fiction. I've heard this characterized as middle grade, but I would say 3rd-5th (maybe hi-lo for 6th). The movie they made from it was so memorable I found that I couldn't concentrate or appreciate the text as much; I kept trying to remember what happened in the movie. But I think it would make a fine read-aloud or even a read-alone.
Apr 12, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Daniel Pinkwater truly is an exceptional author. I can't believe it's taken me as long as it has to read it, and even now, I don't think I would have gone from to cover to cover this quickly if it weren't for Pinkwater reading like a man on the run. He's truly wonderful, not two ways about it. He makes everyday sequences into true wonders.
Jan 12, 2014 Saul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to my daughter and she liked it a great deal. It's full of Pinkwater zaniness and made us laugh out loud many times. It also contains some nice themes: Fear not what you don't understand; violence is not a solution; playing with mother nature is not dangerous; respect your parents. Overall, a great book for kids.
Angie Six
My 8-year-old son thought it was very good: it's tremendously silly, and he belly-laughed through multiple scenes. As a read-aloud, not so much; it wasn't super fun or entertaining for the grownup. I would most definitely recommend it for middle-grade readers between the ages of 8 and 10. For future reference, it ties in well with Thanksgiving if you want to save it for a holiday read.
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Daniel Manus Pinkwater is an author of mostly children's books and is an occasional commentator on National Public Radio. He attended Bard College. Well-known books include Lizard Music, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Fat Men from Space, Borgel, and the picture book The Big Orange Splot. Pinkwater has also illustrated many of his books in the past, although for more recent works that ...more
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