Description from GoodReads:
A tale about two sisters, a fox cub, and what happens when one of the sisters disappears forever.
Sylvie and Jules, Jules and Sylvie. Better than just sisters, better than best friends, they’d be identical twins if only they’d been born in the same year. And if only Sylvie wasn’t such a fast—faster than fast—runner. But Sylvie is too fast, and when she runs to the river they’re not supposed to go anywhere near to throw a wish rock just before the school bus comes on a snowy morning, she runs so fast that no one sees what happens…and no one ever sees her again. Jules is devastated, but she refuses to believe what all the others believe, that—like their mother—her sister is gone forever.
At the very same time, in the shadow world, a shadow fox is born—half of the spirit world, half of the animal world. She too is fast—faster than fast—and she senses danger. She’s too young to know exactly what she senses, but she knows something is very wrong. And when Jules believes one last wish rock for Sylvie needs to be thrown into the river, the human and shadow worlds collide.
Writing in alternate voices—one Jules’s, the other the fox’s—Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee tell the tale of one small family’s moment of heartbreak.
Official Book Trailer:
My thoughts on this book:
Some books you know just from the cover or reading the jacket flap that you will need tissues. I knew from hearing others talk about this book and from reading the description that this would be sad. I knew I should pull out a pack of tissues. And I was right, but I forgot to keep the tissues close by.
However, despite the sadness of the book, there is also a beauty -- the lyrical writing, the vivid sense of place, the voice of both Jules (main character) and Senna (the fox), and even Jules' father or Elk (the brother of one of Jules' friends). As I was reading MAYBE A FOX, I couldn't put the book down. I felt I was pulled into the story with the same fierceness of need as Sylvie's need to run. Even though at times, I sensed where the book was headed, I had to keep reading.
Fans of Appelt's The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp and The Underneath will be drawn to this book. There is a deep sense of how humans and nature connect in a spiritual/mystical manner that permeates the story and adds another dimension to it. I would identify that layer to be a layer of hope.
Finally, as I read MAYBE A FOX, I could hear it being read aloud in order for the rich, lyrical prose to be savored. It could also be used as a mentor text for vivid text and writing. Despite how you decide to use this book, it is definitely worth adding this to your TBR list.
About the authors:
Kathi Appelt is the New York Times best-selling author of more than forty books for children and young adults. Her picture books include Oh My Baby, Little One, illustrated by Jane Dyer, and the Bubba and Beau series, illustrated by Arthur Howard. Her novels for older readers include two National Book Award finalists: The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp and The Underneath, which was also a Newbery Honor Book. In addition to writing, Ms. Appelt is on the faculty in the Masters of Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in College Station, Texas. To learn more, visit Kathi’s website at kathiappelt.com.
Alison McGhee is the New York Times bestselling author of Someday, as well as Firefly Hollow, Little Boy, So Many Days, Bye-Bye Crib, Always, A Very Brave Witch, and the Bink and Gollie books. Her other children’s books include All Rivers Flow to the Sea, Countdown to Kindergarten, and Snap. Alison is also the author of the Pulitzer Prize–nominated adult novel Shadowbaby, which was also a Today show book club selection. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and you can visit her at AlisonMcGhee.com.
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One lucky winner will receive a copy of MAYBE A FOX (U.S. addresses only).