cover image Maybe a Fox

Maybe a Fox

Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee. S&S/Atheneum/Dlouhy, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4424-8242-5

Appelt (The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp) and McGhee (Firefly Hollow) create an intoxicating blend of realism and myth in a novel involving a grieving child, ancient legends, and a mysterious fox. When Sylvie, whose burning wish is to run faster than she has ever run, disappears into a Vermont forest and is assumed dead, Jules, her younger sister, feels a sorrow like no other. Just as anguished are Jules’s father and their neighbor Elk, a veteran who knows what it’s like to lose a loved one. Then there is the fox, who seems to beckon 11-year-old Jules into the same Vermont woods. Breaking her father’s rule to never leave their property, Jules embarks on a quest both dangerous and marvelous. Evocative third-person narration brings the wonders of the wilderness to life and underscores the mysterious connections between humans, nature, and destiny. Appelt and McGhee offer just enough clues to keep readers absorbed while delving into the powerful emotions of two inexplicably connected creatures. Ages 10–14. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Mar.)