Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee...

How I Heard About It:  Another great find via Twitter.  People that I follow and admire for their reading "tastes" began talking about this novel.  I was thrilled when I saw it in my local book store and of course purchased it.  I had read other novels by Appelt, but not McGhee so I was excited to see what they created together.  

What It Is About:  Jules and Sylvie are sisters.  They are actually more than sisters.  They have a "bond" that can't quite be describe.  This bond could be because they lost their mother and rely on each other for support, friendship, and love.  Their father is protective of his girls and has always warned them to stay away from the river.  They usually listen to him and comply with his wishes.  There have been a time or two when they cross the "line" he has established for them.  One winter morning after a fresh snow, Sylvie wants to "run" to the river to drop in a wishing stone before the bus comes.  Jules doesn't think she should, but Sylvie won't be stopped.  Jules' world crashes down around her when her sister doesn't return.  While Jules is learning to adjust to life without her sister, a fox pup is born near her home.  This pup has "talents" that most foxes don't possess and she can sense that something is wrong with the woods, the river, and the people that occupy this world.  As she grows, she begins to venture out to find out more about this human girl Jules and the pain that surrounds her.  

What I Thought Of It:  One of the best middle-grade novels I've read recently.  I absolutely loved it.  The writing is so beautiful and creates such a sense of wonder, beauty, and kindness.  The two stories being told (Jules and the fox) worked perfectly and led me on a reading experience I won't soon forget.  The characters in the story wove their way into my heart and at times I felt like I was right on the land with Jules and the people that loved her.  I'm not normally a reader that enjoys "animal" fiction stories, but in this case, the fox won me over.  I loved everything about this story and can't wait to share it with my students.  

Who Should Read It:  This is the perfect middle-grade novel.  It could be read by students in grades four, five, and six.  In my opinion, both male and female readers will find enjoyment with the story.  I also think it would make for an excellent read aloud.  There would be so many wonderful elements to discuss as the group shared in this adventure.  Adult readers that enjoy middle-grade stories must read this book!  Happy reading...

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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