banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

BOOK REVIEW: The White Fox by Jackie Morris

| 31 October 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The White Fox by Jackie Morris

October 2016
Hardback, $21.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Middle Grade



“I don’t remember her,” Sol said.
He didn’t need to say who – his dad knew.
“And then sometimes I feel guilty because I don’t remember her. Not her face, her voice, her smell. Nothing.” Sol sighed, his heart sore. “There’s an emptiness where I feel something should be.”
“You were only two years old,” his dad said. “When she was hit by the car.”

Sol’s mum died when he was two, and it’s been just him and his dad since. But Dad’s never around… he’s always at work, because everything else reminds him of Sol’s mum and everything they lost, including Sol, who looks so much like her.

It was a white fox, a wild thing, alone in the city, lost, just like him. That’s what Sol had thought when his father came home from work and told him about the fox as they ate a late supper together.
Just like him, except he wasn’t completely alone. He had his father. But his father was always busy.

The day the fox comes, things begin to change for Sol. He’s adrift too, lost in the big city with his father, longing for the wild and frozen north. The fox offers a way back, a chance to reconnect, to find his way home.

With no choice but to travel back to where Sol’s mum and dad grew up in order to return the fox to its normal habitat, Sol and his dad are subjected to some forced bonding time, and they grow closer than they’ve ever been; for the first time they’re actually talking with each other, and finally starting to heal from the loss that shook their world.

“You never talked about Mum before,” he said. “And why did you never take me to visit Gran and Grandpa? Apart from for the funeral. And I don’t remember that. Why? Was it too painful?”
“Something like that,” his dad replied. “Hard to look your grandparents in the eye, feeling like it was my fault, having taken their daughter away. And the missing her becomes so big when I’m there, where we grew up, with all those memories of running wild in the woods. Like was easier than, when we were kids.”
“But that’s not true, is it?” Sol said. “It’s just what grown-ups think because they remember all the good bits and forget the rest. It’s not easier.”
And now his own words began to tumble out.
“Take my life. I hate school. I endure it because I have to. I have no friends. The other kids hate me. Well, no, they don’t hate me – they’re scared of me, because I look different with my black hair and dark eyes. I think different. They call me ‘Shaman Boy’, taunt me and say I have the devil in me.’
Sol paused for breath, unsure where that had all come from. He’d been dealing with it day to day on his own. But now it was out and couldn’t be put back, he was glad. Life wasn’t easier when you were a kid. It was just that grown-ups wanted it to be that way.


The White Fox is another great title put out by a Barrington Stoke imprint. This is gorgeous package, complete with tinted pages with font and spacing that are great for dislexic readers, a handful of gorgeous illustrations throughout the story, dust jacket, and placeholder ribbon.

Inside the gorgeous external package, this is also a story with a lot of heart. 

This is a story about a variety of relationships within one emotionally wounded family. There’s the relationship between the main character and his dad who works too much and finds it painful to be around him; the relationship between the main character and his grandparents, who he hasn’t seen since he was two, with whom his main form of contact is the weekly card they send him; and the relationship between the grandparents and the dad who didn’t feel he could face them after the loss of their daughter; and of course, the relationship between the boy and the fox who are both alone and away from their normal habitats.

But it’s also a story about the struggles that we all go through or have gone through at some stage. Solomon struggles to fit in at school and longs for any kind of emotional connection, since he has no family or friends in the area besides his always-busy dad; his dad still struggles with the loss of his wife, and doesn’t know how to connect with his own son; his grandparents have their own knowledge gaps, based on the way they grew up and how secluded their own community is. 

Overall  this is a gorgeous package with a heartwarming message about the importance of family and communication, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books by the same author.






Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad