Appelt, Kathi and Alison McGhee Maybe a Fox, 262 pgs. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016.$16.99. Language: G (0 swears, 0 F); Mature Content: PG (death); Violence: PG.
11 year old Jules is mad at her sister. Sylvie is only a year older, but she leaves Jules behind when she runs in the woods and worst of all, Sylvie remembers their mother, who died years ago, and Jules was just too young. When Sylvie runs down the path toward the forbidden slip, and Jules tries to keep her from going, the most terrible thing happens and now Jules marks time as “after Sylvie”. Simple things like going back to school are almost impossible. Jules is always wondering what if? In a parallel story a young fox is born with special spiritual abilities and makes a connection with Jules.
This is a beautifully written story, with a lot of grief - all of the main characters are suffering from the death of a family member or friend (Sam, a neighbor boy is helping his brother Elk through the loss of his best friend while they were deployed) This is a pretty sad book, The magical elements of the connection with the wild animals in the forest help achieve a little welcome disconnection. Certainly not for everyone.
EL - ADVISABLE Lisa Librarian