Levandoski, Rob. Fresh eggs, a novel.

Author:LaMontagne, Phyllis
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

Penguin Putnam, Plume. 252p. c2002. 0-45228436-8. $13.00. A

The sight of a "Fresh Eggs" sign at a rural farm might give one pause after reading this unusual story. Unable to support his family on the trickle of customers who visit his farm, Calvin Cassowary accepts the offer of Gallinipper Foods to equip him with high-tech equipment in exchange for buying his eggs. The Leghorns have been genetically engineered to lay a specific number of eggs daily, but many die of suffocation and disease as a result of their cramped quarters. Rhea, Calvin's young daughter, is physically sickened at the sight of the "chicken-catchers" hauling dead chickens away and killing the nonproductive ones.

The worlds of humans and animals merge in this dark exploration of the themes of dehumanization and animal exploitation. Many of the humans, with their animal-like traits, seem like caricatures. Rhea develops bizarre physical characteristics as she identifies more closely with the hens. Her formerly gentle father bends under the stress imposed by demands of the new farming...

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