Saturday, May 6, 2017

The white fox by Jackie Morris

I adore the cover of The White Fox and I think this is why I picked out this little book (84 pages) on a recent shopping expedition.

Originally I thought we would put this book in our junior fiction section but now I have read it I will put it with our main fiction section because this is such a sensitive story which middle primary readers are sure to enjoy.

A white fox is seen down near the docks in Seattle.  Sol is more than curious.  He feels a desperate need to save this wild creature.  He knows in the past cats living down at the docks are caught. "His dad told him they took the cats to animal shelters where they were re-homed but Sol wasn't sure. No one would want these crazy stunted spitting wildcats. He had his own ideas of what happened to them."

Each week Sol receives a letter from his grandparents who live in the Arctic.  While it is never stated in the text you can see below that Sol and his family are Inuit people.  Sol hears that 'his white fox' has been captured.  He begs his dad to take him down to the docks.

"And I know I can't have a fox, and it's not yours to give anyway. But he needs to go home. ... he doesn't belong here. He belongs to the wild."

Their journey from Seattle to Alaska takes six days and gradually Sol talks to his dad about his unhappiness at school and he dares to ask about his mother who died in a car crash when he was just two.  Sol and his dad form a new bond. When they arrive, the grandparents give the father and son space and time to settle in.  Sol's grandmother shows him the carvings made by his mother. Sol feels comfortable and at home for the first time in his life. Now he needs to convince is father that this is the place they need to be.  This is truly their home.

Take time to read this review.  We have several other books in our school library illustrated by Jackie Morris.  She is such a skilled illustrator.

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