Review: Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt

maybe a fox by kathi appelt

Sylvie and Jules.

Jules and Sylvie.

Jules adores her older-by-one-year sister, Sylvie.

Sylvie: beautiful like their mother.
Sylvie: supreme maker of tiny snow families.
Sylvie: faster than fast.

Sylvie: gone.

Into thin air, Sylvie goes missing, and as Jules stumbles in grief, a fox cub is born. A shadow fox, spirit and animal in one. From the minute the cub opens her eyes, she senses something very wrong. Someone—Jules.

Jules: steadfast like their father.
Jules: supreme maker of tiny snow foxes.
Jules: collector of rocks.

Jules: heartbroken.

Who is this Jules? Who is this Sylvie she cries out for? And why does the air still prickle with something unsettled? As that dark unknown grows, the fates of the girl Jules and the fox cub, laced together with wishes and shadowy ties, are about to collide.

Description taken from Goodreads.

I had absolutely no idea what to make of the blurb or what it was trying to say. I got a magical fox vibe? Maybe something along the lines of two sisters, one of them dies and turns into a magical fox?

Hey, stranger things have happened in MG.

Unfortunately, this one just didn’t work for me. Combine my perpetual frustration with near-crushing sadness, and Maybe a Fox just wasn’t for me. If you like sad stories, then this one is for you. Other than my plot and writing problems with it, it wasn’t bad at all. The pacing was good, and it had a sleepy, nostalgic feeling to it.

The characters were memorable, and I grew attached to them so that the emotional impact was even worse. The sister relationship between Sylvie and Jules was well-done and realistic, and at the end of the book, I felt like I knew both of them well.

This is the life-changing book for someone, just not me. I would recommend it to a middle-grade girl who likes contemporary and wants to cry a lot, though for the most part, I see this more as a literary award book than a popular one. 2 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 272


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