Review: The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly: A Novel by Sun-mi Hwang (Author), Nomoco (Illustrator), Chi-Young Kim (Translator), Publisher: Penguin Books (November 26, 2013)

Description (from

The 2-million-copy bestselling 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 freedom, individuality and motherhood featuring a plucky, spirited heroine who rebels against the tradition-bound world of the barnyard, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly is a novel of universal resonance that also opens a window on Korea, where it has captivated millions of readers. And with its array of animal characters—the hen, the duck, the rooster, the dog, the weasel—it calls to mind such classics in English as Animal Farm and Charlotte’s Web.

Featuring specially-commissioned illustrations, this first English-language edition of Sun-mi Hwang’s fable for our times beautifully captures the journey of an unforgettable character in world literature.

My Review (5 Stars: Loved it!)

International bestseller, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang is a short novel.  It is 134 pages including intros, table of contents and illustration pages for each of the eleven (11) chapters.  It is a modern day fable.  Since it is told from the aging hen, Sprout’s perspective, I think adults would relate to the story.

Readers will take away their personal meanings from this story.  For me, among other things, it was a story about survival and a mother’s love.  The variety of farm animals might represent individuals we encounter in life.

This was especially enjoyable because it is not a typical type of novel.  If you would like to take an enjoyable break from routine, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang is a good choice.

If you would like to read another 5 Star review of this novel, check out a wonderful review by Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea.


  1. Pat, this sounds like a wonderful book! I remember Diane’s glowing review as well and have added this to my TBR list.


  2. I really enjoyed this book. I felt it to be quite sad, but the Hen was a true fighter. The theme I took away from the book was “if you love someone let it go.” It seems most parents, mother or father, must go through this with their children at some point. Great book. Loved having the animals as characters. I think it helped the book focus on the pure emotion without getting distracted by human complications.

    Great book. Thanks for the recommendations!


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