Author Archive | Kelly

Spring 2016 events!

IFPlease come say hello at these upcoming public events!


Bellevue, Washington:

King County Library System Foundation Literary Lions Gala

Saturday, March 5th, 6-9 pm

Hyatt Regency Bellevue

(with other amazing authors like Ken Jennings, Martha Brockenbrough, Ruth Reichl, Samantha Vamos, & Molly Wizenberg!)


Houston, Texas:

Texas Library Association Annual Conference

Tuesday, April 19th, 3 pm: Texas Bluebonnet Speed Dating Preconference event

Wednesday, April 20th, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon: signing at the Random House Children’s booth, #1518


Note: I’m teaching lots this spring, but mostly at school events which are not open to the public. If you’d like me to come speak or teach your group, talk to your library, bookstore, or school about putting something together, or contact me!

Chicken Books

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer coverDid you know that the books that Sophie reads in Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer are real books? Here’s the list!

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater (one of my favorite books when I was a kid!)

Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood (author Ellen Airgood also has a diner, which sells Prairie Evers, sequel The Education of Ivy Blake, and even Unusual Chickens!)

The Great Chicken Debacle by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Want more books for kids about chickens? Try this Mackin Books in Bloom Urban Farming for the Intermediate Grades list!


Liked Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer? Try some of the other books on these lists!

50 Best Books for Summer by Instructor Magazine

Celebrating Food Literacy: Seattle authors’ books for kids and teens by the Seattle Public Library

“If You Liked…” Summer Reading Series by We Need Diverse Books

Best Books for 10-Year-Olds (5th Grade) by Melissa Taylor for Imagination Soup

Junior Edition: New Books for Younger Readers by Celia McGee for the Center for Fiction

Hispanic/Latino Speculative Fiction for Kids by Stephanie Whelan for Views from the Tesseract

Books for Empowered Girls from Stephanie Appell at Parnassus Books for Girls to the Moon

Female Protagonists in 2015 Fantasy by Stephanie Whelan for Views from the Tesseract


And, here are five middle grade books I chose for The Children’s Book Review!

Happy reading, everyone!!

Happy Food Literacy Month!


Because Unusual Chickens is about a girl learning to take care of chickens and has practical, real-world advice as well as magic, even though it’s a novel, I’ve been asked to take part in some Seattle Food Literacy Month events!

So, please come say hello and talk chickens with me at these upcoming public events!


Seattle, Washington:

Seattle Tilth Harvest Fair Signing

Meridian Park, Readers to Eaters book signing tent

Saturday, September 12th, 2015, 1:00 pm

(I took Seattle Tilth’s beginning chickens class before getting my own first chickens!)


Seattle, Washington:

Cultivating Readers: Planting Seeds of Reading & Eating During Food Literacy Month

Seattle Central Library

Thursday, September 17, 2015, 6:00 -8:30 p.m.


Bellevue, Washington:

Reading & Signing

University Bookstore, Bellevue

Saturday, September 19, 2015, 12 noon

More Great Chickens News!

WNDBSummerReadsChickensUNUSUAL CHICKENS FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL POULTRY FARMER is a We Need Diverse Books summer reading pick!


“Seems to have all sorts of applications in real life.”

The incredible Betsy Bird of New York Public Library chose UNUSUAL CHICKENS for her Fuse #8 Review of the Day!

InstructorSRInstructor magazine chose UNUSUAL CHICKENS as one of “50 Best Books for Summer,” Humor section!

(You can also see this list at the Washington Post – wow!)

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer coverThe Kansas City City Star included UNUSUAL CHICKENS in its “Hey, kids, warm up to summer reading with these 10 titles” list, and newspapers around the country have picked it up!


Books, Inc. Burlingame staff recommended UNUSUAL CHICKENS in the San Francisco Chronicle!

And school librarian Susan Faust included UNUSUAL CHICKENS in her list of “Which books to get yours kids this summer,” also for the San Francisco Chronicle!


Thank you so much to all the readers and book people who are sharing your love of UNUSUAL CHICKENS with kids! Happy summer reading, everyone!

School Visits: What You Didn’t Know You’d Be Asked

schoolvisitNotes for Writers Visiting Elementary Schools:


If anyone under the age of seven introduces you, be prepared for the school to learn surprising things about you.

Niece: “This is Kelly. She’s a vegetarian. She lives in Seattle.”

Teacher-Librarian (stage whisper): “She wrote a book!”

school_visitPertinent information:

Student: “How many pages is your book?”

Me: “Uh…” *grabs book and checks*

On revision:

Me: “How many drafts do you think this book took?”
Student: “A million!”
Me: “Lower number”
Student: “A hundred!”
Me: “No” (thinking to self: thank goodness!!)
Student: “Ten!”
Me: “Yes!”

On how long it takes:

Student: “How old are you?”
Me: “39”
Student: “Whoa. This is your first book??”

On whether your book is available:

Student: “Do they only have popular books in libraries?”
Me: “Uh, I think my book is popular enough. Ask your librarian!”

Things kids know:

Me: “Does anyone know what telekinesis is?”
Students: *all hands shoot up”


Student, *looking at the photo of me in my slideshow*: “Did you get a haircut since then?”

On how to make a book:

Student: “How did you make a book?”
Me: *explanation of writing*
Student: “No, how do the pages stick together?”
Me: “Ah. Bookbinding. Ask your librarian for more information.”

Rural School Questions:

Student: “I have a pregnant cow. Do you?”
Me: “No, but my agent used to.”
*explanation of agents.*

Still not really sure:

Student: “Do you like bacon?”
Me: “I’m a vegetarian.”
Student: “Oh.”

Note: I love school visits! I am fascinated by students’ questions, and delighted to talk about writing with them. Thanks, Liberty Bay Books, for arranging the visits that prompted this post! 

Interested in a presentation for your school or library? See here!

Who is this Kelly Jones anyway?

author_photoWhen you have a common name, you get used to meeting others with the same name. It’s even kind of fun! But it can be a little confusing to databases, I’ve learned…

So, if you’re looking for art history novelist Kelly Jones of Twin Falls, Idaho (author of Lost and Found in Prague and other novels) — that’s a different Kelly Jones, author! Click here for her website.

As for me, I grew up in California’s Bay Area and currently live near Seattle. Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer is my first and only book, and I don’t have any grandchildren — but I do have chickens!

Thanks for understanding while we sort out the confusion!

Chickens on the loose!!

LaunchEggsMy first novel, UNUSUAL CHICKENS FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL POULTRY FARMER, is available in bookstores now! O happy, happy day!

Come by the Queen Anne Book Company tonight and get a copy signed at my launch party, Friday, May 15th from 6:30 – 8:30!

Or contact other Seattle-area indie bookstores with signed copies, including the University Bookstore (Seattle), Third Place Books Lake Forest Park, Third Place Books Ravenna, Secret Garden Books, and Phinney Books!

Not local? Many of these stores will mail a copy to you!

Thanks so much to all of you for supporting me and my Unusual Chickens along the way!


IFI’ve updated the Press & Reviews with all kinds of new reviews (including one in comic form – thanks, Unshelved Book Club!!) There’s also an Events page now – please come say hello at one (or more!) of these public events!

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer will be available on May 12, 2015 and I can hardly wait!!! If you’re excited to read it too, please consider preordering it from your local independent bookstore, or placing a hold on it through your local library!

“Cheep Thrills” from School Library Journal

chicken_buttChicken fans, librarians, and teachers, rejoice! School Library Journal is featuring “Cheep Thrills” for spring 2015!

  • Highlighted titles include:
  • A Chicken Followed Me Home by Robin Page (May 2015, PreS-Gr 2)
  • P. Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis (March 2015, K-Gr 3)
  • Hop! Hop! by Leslie Patricelli (February 2015, PreS)
  • Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones, illustrated by Katie Kath (May 2015, Gr 4-6)

Happy Spring to you all, with a peep, cheep, cluck, and a BAWK!

Starred Review from School Library Journal!

Unusual Chickens jacketUNUSUAL CHICKENS received a starred review from School Library Journal, too!!!

(scroll down to Middle Grade – link is to all the February 2015 starred reviews)

“…Told in letters, quizzes, newspaper clippings, and delicious ink drawings reminiscent of Quentin Blake, this middle grade epistolary novel has a little magic and a lot of warm family humor. Jones delivers a dynamic Latina protagonist…Readers will cheer for Sophie and clamor for more of those amazing chickens. Exceptional, indeed.”

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