Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Memes: Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee

Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice.

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee. 261 p. A Caitlyn Blouhy Book/ Atheneum Books for Young Readers/ Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, March 8, 2016. 9781442482425.

Publisher synopsis: Worlds collide in a spectacular way when Newbery and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt and Pulitzer Prize nominee and #1 New York Times bestseller Alison McGhee team up to create a fantastical, heartbreaking, and gorgeous 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 searingly beautiful tale of one small family’s moment of heartbreak, a moment that unfolds into one that is epic, mythic, shimmering, and most of all, hopeful.

First Line: From under her covers, Jules Sherman listened for her sister Sylvie to walk out of their room.

Page 56: The woods felt quiet. Too quiet.
     Then, in the very thick of the silence, Jules heard the quick, high-pitched cry of a fox. She recognized it immediately. There was no other sound like it, a "vixen's cry," was what Mrs. Harless called it.
     A fox! Foxes meant luck.

This is shaping up to be one of those gems I give to my students who love sad books. You know you have them. They are usually fifth or sixth graders but, seventh and eighth graders might admit to it. And, if you listen carefully enough, there are quite a few boys. 


  1. It sounds like one I would enjoy too. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

  2. I like the sound of this one. I'd love for everyone to check out mine...

  3. I never liked sad books when I was younger. This one does sound better then the sad ones I read as a younger child though.

  4. I like the sound of this - though I do think it sounds kind of sad - though I think the sister who disappears is probably the wolf? - anyway it sounds good and I probably would have read it as a young's my Friday meme

  5. I'd enjoy this book too. I ate these up when I was younger and still have many of my favorites:)

    My 56 -

  6. Sounds different. Hope you love it!
    Happy weekend!

  7. What an exciting beginning. I want to read this book. I bet your students will, too.