I am so delighted by this book, it makes me feel sunny inside just thinking about it. I was listening to the wonderful audiobook version of What Happened on Fox Street by Tricia Springstubb and I was taking so much pleasure in it that I decided I had to have my own copy and read it again, enjoying every single lovely turn of phrase and lingering wherever I wanted. If you’ve been a kid, if you know a kid, if have a kid, you need this book. It might make you nostalgic. It will make you laugh. It could make you cry. I dare you not to love it. And there is a fox in it. Foxes (aside from Siamese cats and Irish terriers) are my favourite animal. (Random interesting aside: you should read this article about animal domestication in National Geographic. Foxes as pets? I’m in).
Mo loves her street, where she lives with her father and her wild little sister, Dottie. Fox Street is wonderfully eclectic and it has nearly everything a girl with an imagination and an adventurous spirit could need. It’s also where she can best remember her mother, whose death left Mo wanting everything to be the way it was, or at least, not to change any more. But this will be the summer when a lot of change comes to Fox Street in spite of all Mo’s wishing, and Mo will have to discover a way to make it through, holding on to all that she loves for dear life.
I have huge respect for writers who can write short books that yield big emotional and artistic impact. This little book says so much about home and family and community, and captures perfectly that difficult time when you’re right on the edge of beginning to grow up for good, when everything will start to get different forever. Mo doesn’t want things to change and she’s beginning to see she can’t stop it from doing just that. That’s so poignant, and so true. I confess that this story hit me. It reminded me of having to let go of my childhood home (which was beyond hard, and I was an adult when it finally happened). It made me remember all the time I spent imagining and thinking as a child. Mo is a great thinker. She’s one of a kind. You’ll never want to leave Fox Street. Good thing we can keep going back.
What Happened on Fox Street is published by Balzer & Bray.