Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee's Maybe a Fox
OK, there is officially a trend of emotionally compromising middle grade books featuring foxes this year (cf: Pax). This one features two sisters who lost their mother when they were five and six, and now the older one has disappeared, leaving the younger bereft. There is also a little fox that feels a connection to the girl (for reasons that are obvious to an adult reader, but maybe not to the intended audience? Either way, I had no issues with it). Great book on families and grief and rock collecting, and the end had me bawling my eyes out. I could have done without a throwaway reference to spirit animals, which isn't necessary to understand the story and might be offensive to Native American readers. Other than that, great stuff. A/A-.