Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Maybe a Fox

Maybe a Fox

Spring 2016 Fiction
Ages: 10 - 14 yrs.
Author: Kathi Appelt
Author: Alison McGhee
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781442482425
Hardcover Price: $16.99

There is great sadness in this story of two sisters, which in the hands of lesser writers might be maudlin. But these award-winning authors combine talents to create a moving story of loss, grief, and the deep bonds of love.

The story is told through the alternating viewpoints of eleven-year-old Jules, and a young fox called Senna. Jules lives with her older sister Sylvie and their father on the edge of the woods, in rural Vermont where families live for generations and look out for each other. The woods contain great beauty but also danger and they are the thread that binds all of the characters together, both animal and human, through sorrow and solace. It is a place of legend, magic and myth.

The young fox cub is special. She is a Kennen -- a unique figure of the animal world that connects to an outside spirit and is born with a specific mission. The fox cub's spirit is Sylvie. Their two worlds, the human and the animal, are woven together beautifully through these two perspectives, colliding in a breathtaking way at the end.

Despite the book's tragic elements, it finds a way to be uplifting. It is a moving and spiritual story that will stay with readers long after the last page.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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