Fox Magic

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews -

Bev­er­ley Brenna, Miriam Korner (Il­lus­tra­tor) Red Deer Press (FE­BRU­ARY) Soft­cover $11.95 (132pp), 978-0-88995-552-3

Fox Magic is the emo­tion­ally har­row­ing story of Chance, a twelve-year-old girl strug­gling to deal with the sui­cides of her two best friends. The three had made a sui­cide pact, but Chance ran away at the last minute. Now she feels not only iso­lated and sad, but guilty. She be­gins to heal when she en­coun­ters a fox; it ul­ti­mately helps her to ac­cept the death of her friends and be­lieve that she de­serves a fu­ture.

The story tack­les an in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult topic with a del­i­cate touch. It is at times quite painful read­ing, but it is al­ways very hon­est. The role of the fox is par­tic­u­larly beau­ti­ful; it is left to the in­di­vid­ual reader to decide whether the fox is real or a per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of Chase’s sub­con­scious.

In ei­ther case, the steps that Chase takes, with the sup­port of her par­ents and even the class­mates who she thinks hate her, are the key to find­ing a de­sire to live again. This is a story that will gen­tly guide those touched by men­tal ill­ness to­ward help­ful com­mu­nity and in­di­vid­ual sup­port op­tions.

The book’s il­lus­tra­tions, from Miriam Korner, are in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful—sim­ple white-on-black images that stun in their abil­ity to cap­ture the sor­row, fear, and iso­la­tion that Chance feels. An af­ter­word by Dr. Tim Clay­pool lays out some straight­for­ward guid­ance for any­one strug­gling with men­tal health chal­lenges, along with a list web­sites for fur­ther as­sis­tance.

Fox Magic is a small book with a big mes­sage. In a world where bul­ly­ing is a sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem and sui­cide is a ter­ri­fy­ing re­al­ity, it is a must-read. It be­longs on ev­ery ju­ve­nile and young-adult book­shelf.

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