Tuesday, June 28, 2016

MAYBE A FOX by Kathi Appelt.  Atheneum Books: New York, 2016.  262p.  ISBN 978-14424-82425 hc. $16.99    Gr. 4-7   JUV

Like two peas in a pod, Sylvie and Jules do everything together, expanding their close circle to their father and their favorite neighbor, Sam.  Sylvie and Jules' dad is overprotective since the loss of his wife when the girls were very young, and one of those rules is to stay away from the river.  One snowy morning, Sylvie breaks the rules and dashes down a path near the river, and disappears without a trace. What begins as contemporary juvenile fiction in Part I, morphs into Appelt's trademark fantasy genre featuring animal personification. The fox family's story begins when one of the three kits begins to gravitate from the fox den toward the human family, seeking out Jules.  There's a lot of loss and heartbreak in Jules' family for her mother and sister.  In Sam's family, his older brother tries to cope with life after combat and the loss of his best friend.  The survivors try to come to resolution with death so they can go on with life...and the young fox plays an important role.  There's a little mystery, a little mysticism, and a few surprises for readers.  By the way, tears are guaranteed to flow while reading this tender story.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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