Tammy Donahue


Mystery Kisses & Chicken Poop

Have you ever seen a horse so tall you could walk under its belly? Or held on for dear life while you’re trying to cross a river on a wooden bridge swinging wildly from side to side? Or been surrounded by thousands of squawking chickens? Or claimed your own stake on a never before traversed mountain? Can you imagine a tape worm so long it reaches out of a little girl’s mouth for an irresistible bite to eat? Discover this grandmother’s unique adventures growing up in rural West Virginia in a not so ordinary family. Travel with her as she accompanies her grandma, a soothsaying traveling nurse, and her grandpa, a chicken farmer and horse-shoeing blacksmith, on some not so ordinary adventures. Mystery Kisses and Chicken Poop is filled with (mostly true) heart-warming and humorous tales that will make you cherish family moments and feel good inside.

When I began writing “Mystery Kisses and Chicken Poop,” it was to be a gift of thanks to my grandfather. Later, it was to be a gift to my grandchildren to help them learn about their heritage. Finally, it became a gift to my students to help them become writers and to families, to inspire them to read together and share their own stories.


Reviewed by Jada for Goodreads

lovely book about growing up in a small town in the country . The chicken poop chapter made me laughed out loud. I was born in 1981 but could still relate to these characters because I was very close to my grandparents and it brought back memories of things I did with them.

Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers’ Favorite

Mystery Kisses and Chicken Poop by Tammy Donahue is a memoir of her childhood in West Virginia. Tammy Donahue shares stories of her upbringing with her eight grandchildren. She also creates memories with them as well. Each chapter is a little vignette about her life. We are introduced to her Grandpa Hale who was a farrier and her Granny Hale who was a nurse and an all-round character. There are inspiring stories about the women in her family and funny stories about just being a kid growing up in a rural area. The last chapter centers around an annual tea party that she has with her granddaughters and how she is encouraging them to follow their dreams.

Reading Mystery Kisses and Chicken Poop is like sitting by the fire and listening to a great storyteller. Tammy Donahue draws you in with her humorous and descriptive stories, especially about her grandparents. You can feel the love she has for her Grandpa Hale and the enormous respect she has for her grandmother. I really enjoyed the chapter about her Grandma Hale and her work as a traveling nurse. It is evident that Tammy Donahue has continued the strong female tradition and is working to pass it down to her granddaughters as well. Mystery Kisses and Chicken Poop would be a delightful book for grandparents to read to their grandchildren and might lead them to share their own stories about growing up. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the inspiring and sometimes laugh-out-loud adventures.

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