cover image Because of the Rabbit

Because of the Rabbit

Cynthia Lord. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-545-91424-6

“Anything is possible with rabbits,” Emma muses presciently as she and her game warden father rescue a distressed rabbit that she’s allowed to keep. But it’s the bunny that rescues Emma, who’s beginning fifth grade at a Maine public school after being homeschooled. She’s worried that no one there will need a new friend, and Owen, her older brother and soulmate, exacerbates things by becoming preoccupied with his new friends. In a characteristically articulate observation, Emma notes, “I’d been carrying a hole inside me since Owen went off to school last year and this little rabbit had jumped right into that hole and made himself at home.” Her new pet (Lapi, short for Monsieur Lapin, a character from tales her beloved late grandfather shared) also fills an emotional void when her friend-making gets off to a slow start—and then helps her connect with classmates, primarily a boy who seems to be on the autism spectrum, as she learns the rewards of patience and understanding the perspectives of others. Newbery Honor author Lord (Rules) offers a note detailing her personal inspirations for this insightful story—lucidly written from the heart. Ages 8–12. [em](Mar.) [/em]