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Summary

The 2 million-copy best-selling modern fable from Korea that is winning hearts around the world

This is the story of a hen named Sprout. No longer content to lay eggs on command only to have them carted off to the market, she glimpses her future every morning through the barn doors, where the other animals roam free, and comes up with a plan to escape into the wild - and to hatch an egg of her own. An anthem for individuality and motherhood, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly has captivated millions of fans in Korea, where it is a contemporary classic. Now the novel is making its way around the world, where it has the potential to inspire generations the way Jonathan Livingston Seagull or The Alchemist have. This first English-language edition beautifully captures the journey of an unforgettable character in world literature.

©2000 Sun-mi Hwang; Translation copyright 2013, Chi-Young Kim (P)2013 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

Los Angeles Times Best Seller; New Atlantic Indie Best Seller; Mountains and Plains Indie Best Seller; Southern California Indie Best Seller)

"A very special little book. I absolutely loved it, and I find myself still thinking about Sprout. She embodies all the best characteristics of deep-hearted mother-love: loyalty, sacrifice, and courage." (Lisa See, author of the New York Times best sellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and Shanghai Girls)

"Sometimes the simplest character, expressed in the sparest prose, embarks upon life’s most heroic journey. Meet Sprout, a plucky hen whose modest dream to hatch a single egg will take her down a path that leads to her true place in the natural world. Heart, determination, and empathy are the only skills Sprout needs to navigate this perilous passage in Sun-mi Hwang’s lovely The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly, a novel uniquely poised at the nexus of fable, philosophy, children’s literature, and nature writing." (Adam Johnson, author of the New York Times best seller and Pulitzer Prize winner The Orphan Master’s Son and the National Book Award winner Fortune Smiles)  

What listeners say about The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly

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The most wonderful book I have read.

This book is such a simple yet heartbreaking story of a little hens wish to become a mother and have her own chick. How good can triumph over adversity and a mother's love for her baby. I was in floods of tears at the end not because the story was sad but because it was so beautiful. This is a book I have listened to and read many times and one which I will carry with me for all my life.

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A different take on very human tale.

Being an avid animal rights person I found the beginning of the book quite upsetting. I'm glad it was only a short story. I found the narrator a tad annoying.

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Utterly wonderful!

This is such a beautifully heartbreaking and yet uplifting tale. I've heard it described as a Korean Charlotte's Web, but its a little more adult than that. I loved it.

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Profile Image for Dr. Joe de Beauchamp
  • Dr. Joe de Beauchamp
  • 08-06-20

The Hen

this book about the hen who wanted to fly, is a wonderfully narrated book for adults and children. it appears to be equal to an Aesop's Fable Tale.

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  • David
  • 13-01-19

A Near Fable

There have been many reviews comparing this to Charlotte's Web, Babe, or even Bambi: A Life in the Forest. For me, this feels almost like a fable. Accepting the fable like quality of the story made it stronger. There are many powerful sentences about the nature of family, love, and nature. Sprout's wish to be a mother and the family she forms with Green-top could speak more to parents and children of adopted family. It's a simpler story, and it is a book you can finish in a single sitting. Considering the printed version comes with unique illustrations, it might be a better read than a listen, as the illustrations could add to fable like elements.

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  • W. Glencoe
  • 11-12-18

Charming

Bittersweet lessons of life told through the eyes of a useless hen who found her purpose. Loved it.