Authors: Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee
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 tale of one small family’s moment of heartbreak.
Here's the trailer for the book!
This book has really stuck with me. I finished it a few days ago, and I'm still thinking about it. That surprises me because it's really a small book. But trust me, it packed a punch. In those pages Jules and Senna (the fox) wiggled their way into my heart. Yes I said the fox wiggled her way into my heart! Don't judge me! I really really loved her character. There was so much heart written into her story that my heart took her in. And right there with her was Jules. I felt so much for her. Just was going through so much at such a young age. I just wanted to hug her. What I also liked about her, though, was that if I did hug her she'd get riled up. I loved that she was strong and determined.
You should know before your read the story that it has magical realism in it. I wasn't sure how that would play out, but it was so perfectly stitched into the story that it seem natural and real and believable. (ok sorry I feel like I'm gushing a bit) And the reason for it being in the story just made it even more perfect. I don't want to say anything more in fear of giving it away.
Lastly the secondary characters. This book has a lot of sadness. Jules's has a friend Sam. His brother is home from the war after losing a good friend while there. He's struggling a lot with dealing with the loss of his friend and just the aftermath of being in battle. I'm sure it's PTSD, but it's never called that. He was doing what he could to cope, but you knew it would take a long while for him to recover. His story meshes nicely with the story of Jules.
In the end: A story with sadness, loss and how it affects each of us differently - yet within it is hope and love.