Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt & Alison McGhee

“Where do you go when you die? Maybe you turn into wind. Maybe you turn into stars. Maybe you turn into a firefly and light up the night.”


Jules and her older sister Sylvie are very close and enjoy living in their rural Vermont property with their father. They like spending time with Sam, their neighbour, who is the best friend of both girls and dreams of one day spotting a catamount in the nearby woods. Although the siblings are separated only by a year, Jules remembers very little of their mother who died when they were young.

One day Sylvie goes missing, and as Jules suffers, 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.

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 Senna, laced together with wishes and shadowy ties, are about to collide.

maybe a Fox cover
“Maybe a Fox” published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (2016)

This book is an example of how a children’s book can still be read and enjoyed when you’re an adult. It’s about losing someone and how the ones left behind should deal with that kind of loss. It’s about understanding the importance of life itself. It has depth and complexities I think children aren’t capable of grasping at their age (fortunately for them).

I’m really glad I gave a chance to this book. At first, I wasn’t really appreciating the way it was written but my obsession with foxes kept me going. It’s a fast pacing, interesting story that is able to keep your attention and always makes you want to read one more chapter.

I liked the plot, the setting, and the climax of the story. However, I didn’t like the ending but I was predicting that breaking point while I was reading it. My favourite character was Senna, the lovely Kennen Fox and I really enjoyed the way the human world and the animal world collide with each other. Whilst reading it, the readers are faced with important human values that are often neglected in hard times.

Honour, respect, caring.  

I cried a lot during some parts of this book because it reminded me of some members of my family that I will never see again. I couldn’t even comment it properly with Fae because the conclusion shattered me into tiny little pieces.

I recommend this story to everyone, child or adult, because all the messages inside its pages are important as reminders in difficult times.

It reminds readers of the understanding of others during a time of pain and loss, because each one of the characters is dealing in some way with grief and the absence of loved ones. It also reminds us that all we have is each other and the belief that those who left us know we still love and miss them every day. Although the book is painful to read, it also lends hope to readers with the idea of spirit animals looking out for others during their darkest days.


“Maybe you turn into wind. Maybe you turn into the stars. Maybe you go to another world. Maybe you turn into a fox. And you run and run and run, faster than a torpedo, faster than the sound of light, faster than a speeding bullet. You run faster, so that you can keep the ones you love most safe.”


If you want to know about the heartbreaking story of Senna just follow the link below:

The Book Depository


The Daily Post – Daily Prompts: Understanding


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