Maybe A Fox (paperback)
by Kathi Appelt
AR Level 4.9, 5 points
Maybe A Fox is one I’d read about on Twitter, but hadn’t put much thought into buying it, because I didn’t really know what it was about, so it sat on my Amazon shopping list. Then I saw it was in Scholastic, bought it, and waited until a student read it. FYI: When a sixth grade boy brings it to you with tears in his eyes and tells you you should read it, you stop what you’re doing and pick it up. That’s what I did, and I’m glad! Also a warning, though- it is not a “feel good” book. It is sad. You will likely cry, or at least get teary or a little depressed after.
I’m partially torn, because it was too real for me. Two sisters, very close in age (like my two daughters) lost their mother and are connected at the hip. They fight with each other, share friends, and love each other more than anyone. Like my two daughters. Then one of the sisters goes missing at the exact moment a litter of foxes is born, and that’s where the fantasy comes in… that’s not like my two daughters, but the thought of one of them dying while the other one has to go on… too much! I was ready to stop right there! So the little fox feels drawn to the remaining sister, and helps her to find closure, since no body was ever found. At the same time, a young man is dealing with the death of his best friend in Afghanistan, and a wild cat is spotted. It sounds like a lot to take in, and it is, but this story was written beautifully and all of the coincidences make sense in the end. When you’re done, you will close the book, and sit in contemplation, soaking it all in.
What I liked about the book was the beauty of the relationships. Maybe it was the sister-sister connection, the best friends, the fox kits, the mother to her daughter or the father to his daughters- they were all lovely and well-developed, I felt. I felt the pain of the loss, and I didn’t lose any of them myself.
What I didn’t like about this book was the end. I won’t spoil it, but there was one last jab in my heart that some felt was unnecessary. I didn’t see it as unnecessary, but it hurt just the same. I won’t give spoilers, but when you think it’s over, just wait for one more thing to happen. This isn’t a funny book, and it isn’t heartwarming, but it will leave you feeling like it came full circle.
Book 46 of 40 (40 Book Challenge)