KidLit Book Review: Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker


Synopsis

When fox kits Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they quickly learn that the world is a dangerous place filled with monsters. As the young foxes travel across field and forest in search of a home, they’ll face a zombie who hungers for their tender flesh, a witch who wants to wear their skins, a ghost who haunts and hunts them, and so much more.


Details

  • Title: Scary Stories for Young Foxes
  • Author: Christian McKay Heidicker
  • Illustrator: Junyi Wu
  • Cover Artist: Junyi Wu
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • ISBN: 1250181429
  • Publication Date: July 30, 2019
  • For Ages: 9-12
  • Category: Middle Grade
  • Spooky-Scary or Spooky-Fun? ☠️ Scary.
  • Content Warnings: animal cruelty, ableism

Review

Scary Stories for Young Foxes is an eerie, sinister, and surprising collection of interconnected tales filled with bitter truths and heartbreak. One cold night, seven fox kits venture out past their den to test their mettle against the frightening tales of the old Storyteller. As the stories get more disturbing, the group of foxes dwindles until only one brave little fox remains. Much like Richard Adams’s classic Watership Down, this book is epic and grueling, refusing to soften the blow of nature’s cruelty (especially when humans get involved—Beatrix Potter fans, you’ve been warned).

Despite some triumphant and touching moments in the stories, the young foxes soon learn that the ultimate horror comes from simply trying to survive in this world. Messages about environmental conservation and the inevitable grief of growing up permeate the stories, which cleverly cover a wide range of genre tropes including ghosts, zombies, and serial killers. Punctuated by moody black-and-white illustrations, the book is an unflinching look at the harsh realities of life and the terrors that surround us. Unique and inventive, Scary Stories for Young Foxes is a welcome addition to children’s horror literature.


Rating

This wasn’t an easy read, but it was a great one. I give this book 4.5 out of 5 coffins.

4.5 Coffins


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