Grades 4-5 & up
with a Fantasy Element
True Blue Scouts
Sugar Man Swamp
Jules, her older sister Sylvie, and their father are building new lives after the death of their mother. They have routines and things to love and ways to support each other. Jules collects unusual rocks and categorizes them, and Sylvie is always trying to run faster. On the same day that Sylvie suddenly disappears (running, of course), a fox is born. The fox has a mission, and a connection to Jules, without really understanding all the pieces. Part realistic fiction, part fantasy, this book is about connecting healing and tragedy.
You will want to appreciate some magical thinking to fall in love with this book, and it will help if you have a soft spot for books that are designed to make you sad. This book was very popular with Texas Bluebonnet readers at my school, and I found it more accessible than The Underneath, although that book had much more magic, mystique, love, and pain. The love here is in the small details – the way Jules can’t stand the smell of anything coconut after Sylvie disappears, or the sadness she has when she can’t find her mother’s coffee mug anymore – and these are the moments that speak to readers, even if those readers aren’t runners or rock collectors.
"Book quote from Maybe a Fox"
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