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2016 Winner: Hands-On Science Book

A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, by Melissa Caughey. Storey Publishing, 2015.

A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens is a tribute to the joy of keeping chickens as well as it is to one of the oldest sciences practiced by humans: the science of animal agriculture. This book began as a website, Tilly’s Nest, in which the author shared experiences with her own flock of backyard chickens. Melissa Caughey shares her advice in an engaging way so that kids understand what it means to keep chickens and what kind of housing, food, equipment, and care the chickens will need to thrive. Useful for families, 4-H clubs, or teachers who want to raise classroom chickens, this book is a marvel of engagement, enthusiasm, and commitment, a model of how to write a comprehensive how-to guide book for children.

About the Author

Melissa Caughey is a nurse practitioner, backyard chicken keeper, beekeeper, and master gardener. She spent her early childhood growing up in rural New Jersey with many fond memories of her best friend's dairy farm. In her late teens, she moved to Los Angeles and spent many years there as a "city girl." More than a decade ago, Melissa and her husband decided to move back East and settle on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. While working a half acre of cleared land in a suburban setting over the past six years, Melissa has shared her family's adventures on her award-winning blog, Tilly's Nest. Melissa also writes for HGTV, DIY Network, Grit Magazine, Community Chickens, and Keeping Backyard Bees and contributes to Country Living Magazine online. She travels around the country giving lectures about chickens, gardening, and beekeeping.