Tag Archives: kathi appelt

Maybe a Newbery?

6 May

It is funny that two excellent books, both told in alternating stories and featuring  a fox in one of those stories, were released within a month of each other. Pax was released in February. Maybe a  Fox, written by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee was release in March, though I just read it this week.


Oh my, this book is wonderful. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it and the book certainly didn’t go where I expected it to go, but this one has a Newbery feel to it.  Senna, the fox was my favorite, even though Jules is the real main character. This book certainly destined to be on some Best of 2016 lists.

Publisher’s Summary: Worlds collide in a spectacular way when Newbery and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt and Pulitzer Prize nominee and #1 New York Times bestseller Alison McGhee team up to create a fantastical, heartbreaking, and gorgeous tale about two sisters, a fox cub, and what happens when one of the sisters disappears forever.

Sylvie and Jules, Jules and Sylvie. Better than just sisters, better than best friends, they’d be identical twins if only they’d been born in the same year. And if only Sylvie wasn’t such a fast—faster than fast—runner. But Sylvie is too fast, and when she runs to the river they’re not supposed to go anywhere near to throw a wish rock just before the school bus comes on a snowy morning, she runs so fast that no one sees what happens…and no one ever sees her again. Jules is devastated, but she refuses to believe what all the others believe, that—like their mother—her sister is gone forever.

At the very same time, in the shadow world, a shadow fox is born—half of the spirit world, half of the animal world. She too is fast—faster than fast—and she senses danger. She’s too young to know exactly what she senses, but she knows something is very wrong. And when Jules believes one last wish rock for Sylvie needs to be thrown into the river, the human and shadow worlds collide.

Writing in alternate voices—one Jules’s, the other the fox’s—Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee tell the searingly beautiful tale of one small family’s moment of heartbreak, a moment that unfolds into one that is epic, mythic, shimmering, and most of all, hopeful.


Multiple narrators, parallel stories

7 May

A student in my class started reading  The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt recently.


She came in asking me a lot of questions and I frustrated her because I wouldn’t answer them. I did help her out a bit through. She wasn’t really getting the multiple story line, so we talked about our current class read aloud, Wonder,  and how, having multiple people tell the story gives us more insight.

I told her about reading  All the Light We Cannot See,  in which two stories are told, and, eventually converge.

She finally started to understand what the author was doing. She still had questions I refused to answer, but she felt more confident going forward because she understood what the author was doing and why. She is well into the book now and excited to see how it will all come together.

She had a personal mini lesson in authors craft & structure.


16 Sep



The announcement has been made. If you haven’t read these, do so.  I’ve either read them or have them on my  hold list at the library. This is a rather excellent list.

  • Kathi AppeltThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
  • Kate DiCamilloFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (Candlewick Press)
  • Lisa Graff, A Tangle of Knots (Philomel Books/Penguin Group USA)
  • Alaya Dawn JohnsonThe Summer Prince (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic)
  • Cynthia KadohataThe Thing About Luck (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
  • David LevithanTwo Boys Kissing (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)
  • Tom McNealFar Far Away (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)
  • Meg RosoffPicture Me Gone (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Group USA)
  • Anne UrsuThe Real Boy (Walden Pond Press/HarperCollinsPublishers)
  • Gene Luen YangBoxers & Saints (First Second/Macmillan)


Deb CalettiCecil CastellucciPeter GlassmanE. Lockhart, Lisa Von Drasek

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