Scary Stories for Young Foxes
by Heidicker, Christian McKay; Wu, Junyi (ILT)






Seven fox kits, wanting a scarier story than their mother will tell, visit the old storyteller at Bog Cavern in the Antler Wood, but will any be brave enough to stay until the end?





Christian McKay Heidicker reads and writes and drinks tea. Between his demon-hunting cat and his fiddling, red-headed girlfriend, he feels completely protected from evil spirits. Christian is the author of Scary Stories for Young Foxes (a Newbery Honor book), Cure for the Common Universe and Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower, and the co-author (with William Shivering) of Thieves of Weirdwood. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
cmheidicker.com





*Starred Review* Heidicker (Attack of the 50-Foot Wallflower, 2018) deftly transitions from YA to middle-grade fiction with his account of seven fox kits on the prowl for scary bedtime stories. Cute, right? Only if you find the anxious cowering of both kids and kits endearing. But for a certain type of reader-those lost in a battered copy of Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark-this is exactly the kind of book they're hunting for. The vulpine siblings venture into Antler Wood to find Bog Cavern, a place, their mother has cautioned, where an old storyteller lives who will tell them "a story so frightening it will put the white in your tail." This is no exaggeration: the storyteller doles out two tales of two kits, Mia and Uly, who endure different horrors, from injuries to hunters' traps to rabid animals, eventually bringing their narratives together. Throughout, the stories are punctuated with unsettling black-and-white illustrations and pauses to momentarily shift the focus back to the original seven kits, effectively building suspense and providing momentary relief for the storyteller's audience. As the tensions and dangers build, the siblings' numbers dwindle as they slip away for the comfort of their den. Kids able to brave the harrowing adventures of Mia and Uly are in for a chilling roller coaster of a read. Grades 3-6. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





*Starred Review* Heidicker (Attack of the 50-Foot Wallflower, 2018) deftly transitions from YA to middle-grade fiction with his account of seven fox kits on the prowl for scary bedtime stories. Cute, right? Only if you find the anxious cowering of both kids and kits endearing. But for a certain type of reader-those lost in a battered copy of Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark-this is exactly the kind of book they're hunting for. The vulpine siblings venture into Antler Wood to find Bog Cavern, a place, their mother has cautioned, where an old storyteller lives who will tell them "a story so frightening it will put the white in your tail." This is no exaggeration: the storyteller doles out two tales of two kits, Mia and Uly, who endure different horrors, from injuries to hunters' traps to rabid animals, eventually bringing their narratives together. Throughout, the stories are punctuated with unsettling black-and-white illustrations and pauses to momentarily shift the focus back to the original seven kits, effectively building suspense and providing momentary relief for the storyteller's audience. As the tensions and dangers build, the siblings' numbers dwindle as they slip away for the comfort of their den. Kids able to brave the harrowing adventures of Mia and Uly are in for a chilling roller coaster of a read. Grades 3-6. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





Two young foxes struggle to survive predators, the elements, and their families. In a frame, seven fox kits are eager to hear some scary stories. For "a story so frightening it will put the white in your tail," their mother sends them to "the old storyteller," an elderly fox in a cavern, who proceeds to spin a tale of vulpine horror. At first the stories seem unrelated; Mia is separated from her loving family, while Uly is exiled. Soon the kits' stories intertwine as the horrors they survive increase and multiply. After a rocky start prosewise (repetitive adjectives, slightly ornate descriptions), the story picks up, and the "scary stories" border on downright disturbing. There's domestic horror—Mia survives an encounter with her beloved teacher, who's gone rabid, and Uly is terrorized by his sisters and father because he's disabled. Later Mia is trapped by Beatrix Potter, who murders animals after using them as inspiration for her stories, and Uly is attacked by a Golgathursh, "a whirlwind of scaly limbs." Ethereal sketches in what looks like charc oal add to the atmosphere, with appealing fox kits set against menacing backgrounds. The stomach-clenching fear and suspense are resolved by a happy ending, but some readers—sensitive animal lovers especially—may have a hard time reaching it. Similarly, the abuse that Uly faces from his family due to his disability may be painful to read. Dark and skillfully distressing, this is a story for the bold. (Horror. 9-14) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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