The Woefield Poultry Collective

The Woefield Poultry Collective

Book - 2011
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Prudence Burns, a well-intentioned New Yorker full of back-to-the-land ideals, just inherited Woefield Farm—thirty acres of scrubland, dilapidated buildings, and one half-sheared sheep. But the bank is about to foreclose, so Prudence must turn things around fast! Fortunately she'll have help from Earl, her banjo-playing foreman with a family secret; Seth, the neighbor who hasn't left the house since a high school scandal; and Sara Spratt, an eleven-year-old who's looking for a home for her prize-winning chickens. Home to Woefield is about learning how to take on a challenge, face your fears, and find friendship in the most unlikely of places.
Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins Canada, 2011
Description: 306 p. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9781554687435
Branch Call Number: Juby


From Library Staff

What happens when an over-idealistic young inexperienced farmer, a cussing old handyman, an internet recluse, and an 11-year-old prize-chicken raiser move in together in a dilapidated old farm house on hardscrabble rock on Vancouver Island? A hilarious story, that's what. Not to be missed.

In e-book or in print.

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Oct 05, 2020

Very wry, fun to read.

May 28, 2020

Wonderful story; well written, entertaining and very funny

Mar 12, 2020

A fun read, I laughed so much. Great characters and so much fun. Not sure why more people don't pick it up, maybe it's the cover or just not enough pushing by publisher.
I loved her follow up book as well.

darelann Sep 22, 2019

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to patrons who want a well written humorous story. It is told from the perspective of New Yorker Prudence and the people she meets when she gets back to the land on Woefield Farm. The comedic timing is perfect. I’m sure you’ll find yourself laughing out loud! I know I did. And if you want more, the sequel: ‘Down to the dirt’ is even funnier and tells how these mismatched and unlikely friends become more like a family.

Mar 30, 2019

Simply hilarious. So much fun to read, as I live in this neighborhood.

Mar 15, 2019

I read this for book club. It is very funny, and quite good, but has way too much swearing. Like over the top.

I think she does a great job of giving each character a distinct voice. I enjoyed the plot, even if some of it was a bit unbelievable.

From the woman who put Smithers, BC on the map in her Young Adult Alice series comes an adult novel about another small place that generates big comedy. When energetic, enthusiastic eco-warrior Prudence Burns inherits a rundown farm from her long-lost uncle, she moves to Vancouver Island to farm it. Unfortunately, the main crop seems to be rocks and its only livestock is a semi-sheared, depressed sheep named Bertie. Prudence puts a motley crew of characters to work to save the farm, coming up with one harebrained scheme after another until she hits on an idea that just might work, if she can get them all to agree. I found this book to be up to Susan Juby’s usual heights of hilarity. Each character had a distinct voice and I enjoyed that the chapters rotated between them all to tell the story, rather than just being from one point of view. My favourite character was Sara – I would be happy to help her look for books on chickens in our library! (submitted by GH)

Sep 03, 2018

Everyone needs a read like this. LOL funny .I'll find more by Juby.

Dec 21, 2017

Fun read. Flawed but lovable characters struggle with their demons while trying to make a go of life on a farm.

SPL_AnneMarie Sep 12, 2017

Reviewed in Stratford Gazette September 2017.

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Jul 19, 2018

"When my parents told me that I had to move my birds, I didn't say anything. In Jr. Poultry Fancier's Club they tell us that leaders are Even Tempered, which means they don't get mad even when everyone would understand if they were. The other thing leaders do is Take Action.

Jun 12, 2016

Families is funny about who they advertise. A lot of the time, the people worth knowing in a family is the ones that don’t get mentioned in the newsletter.

Jun 12, 2016

That girl and her three friends all wear dark clothes and keep their hoods pulled up over their heads. They sit against the wall at the side of the store, smoking, or sometimes they sit on the railing of the little overpass bridge like they might jump or push someone off. They sort of remind me of trolls.

Jun 12, 2016

The old moon was hanging low over the trees at the far edge of the property and every so often a bat’d fly through the little patch of light from the lamp mounted on a post at the side of the house. I never understood who the hell put that lamp up there. It don’t light up anything anyone’d need to see. Typical of this place. But at least it lets a person see the bats flying.


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Jun 12, 2016

Coarse Language: Some of the characters swear freely, so if that bothers you, consider yourself warned.

Apr 10, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


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DanniOcean Apr 17, 2011

Meet Prudence. She is a highly energetic and earnest eco-warrior from Brooklyn, New York. She’s just been left a farm in British Columbia that consists of a field of grass and stones, a depressed, half-shorn sheep named Bertie and a homestead with as many holes in the roof as shades of paint on the walls. But Prudence is convinced that with a little elbow-grease and enthusiasm (of which she has plenty), she can make a go of organic, pesticide-free farming, and get back to the land, if only she can raise the capital quickly enough to keep the bank from foreclosing on it. She is kind of like Walt Wingfield in Dan Needles’ books – but with a whole lot more naivety (and that’s saying something). Meet Earl. He is the highly curmudgeonly old farm hand who knows as much about farming as Prudence’s uncle (which wasn’t much), although as a banjo player he’s a bluegrass prodigy. He thought he’d pick up and leave now that the old man was gone, but fate (and Prudence) have other plans for him, whether he likes it or not. Meet Seth. Prudence’s highly anti-social, perhaps alcoholic neighbour with paranoia tendencies, Seth considers himself a serious writer (well, blogger) and much-maligned by the world, especially when his mother kicks him out of his self-imposed exile in her basement and Prudence forces him to do actual work in exchange for room and board on the farm. Meet Sara. She’s a highly motivated member of the Jr. Poultry Fancier’s Club, about eleven years old, has lately been quoting from Christian fiction novels and gets stomach aches when her parents fight. She was just looking for a place to house her prized frizzles and non-bearded black Polish chickens (the rooster of which is quickly dubbed Alec Baldwin), but she found a highly unlikely family in the collected misfits at Woefield Farm – they all did. Written as a series of internal monologues by each character, we can see how each person grows and develops both in their own voices and through the eyes of the others. Quirky and humourous, poignant and reflective, The Woefield Poultry Collective is a delightfully written book, a joy to read, laugh-out-loud funny, and should be on your summer’s reading list.

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