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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
Rooster Tale is a short story for preteens by Linda Lee Greene. Freda Fowl, second generation of chickens on the Gaffin farm, narrates. She reminisces about stories told to her by Grandmother Hen who lived during the Great Depression 1937-1938. One of these was about Bussy Gaffin, a very sickly boy whose chore was looking after the chickens. Despite ill health, Bussy singlehandedly expanded the poultry business, along with the assistance of his beloved champion rooster named Tarzan. Unfortunately, Tarzan’s unruly sons disliked the orderly nature of the hen house and constantly fought him for leadership in feather flying skirmishes. Freda speaks fondly of other animals like Polly the Perfect Pullet, who laid the most eggs and was the animals’ entertainment organizer, Gus and Gertrude Goat, Penelope Pig, and the lazy, snobbish cats.
Rooster Tale is an excerpt adaptation from Linda Lee Greene’s book, Guardians and Other Angels, created from actual events. Freda Fowl gave a nostalgic account of life on the farm, fondly remembering Grandmother Hen telling her that she had inherited the gift of storytelling. I like the author’s unhurried, clever writing style that showed events from her past. The book’s cover and other illustrations were nice too. These adorable animal characters have human traits that were amusing. The conclusion was slightly brusque, but it was still a suitable one. Pre-teens will appreciate reading Rooster Tale while getting a brief educational view into the Great Depression, and the living conditions of farmers and other folks in rural communities.