A young girl learns about honesty, integrity, and friendship when she finds a lost rabbit and starts school for the first time.
Home-schooled by her mother, young Emma is very close to her parents and brother. She has beautiful memories of visiting her grandparents (now deceased) across the border in Quebec, where she learned about French-Canadian farming culture. Mémère taught her to bake, while Pépère told her stories about Monsieur Lapin, the rabbit, and all his woodland friends. But now Emma’s life is changing. Her older brother, Owen, was her constant companion until he started high school and built a social life all his own. Lonely and hoping to make a friend, Emma decides to quit home schooling and enter the fifth grade at Lakeview Elementary. The night before she embarks on her first class, she accompanies her game-warden father on a call, and they find a pet bunny stuck in a fence. Mischievous Lapi—named for Pépère’s stories—will offer both challenges and lessons to Emma as she navigates her new school and the politics of making friends with an unpopular boy. The beauty in Lord’s tale of finding home in a new community is the way Emma’s grandfather reaches her with his stories of magic even after he is gone, teaching her important lessons about following through on one’s promises. Emma and her family are white, their Franco-American heritage a rarity in children’s literature.
Delightful. (Fiction. 8-12)