HARE'S CHOICE by Dennis Hamley
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Two children find a beautiful female hare dead at the roadside, where she has just had a fatal encounter with the car she was joyously racing. The children take her to school, where she becomes the heroine of a story composed by their entire class. At first, each child has an independent idea based on a favorite genre; but as they listen to each other, they begin to recognize the value of all these threads and decide to weave them into a single narrative. Negotiations and writing complete, they share their creation--which is at once an entertaining story, a reflection of its contributors, and believable as the invention of imaginative children. And, as Hare herself discovers in the final scenes, it is more: by giving her life in the story, the children have also given her a special immortality that requires her to make a choice. There are two places for animals in the afterlife: one for the anonymous, memoryless multitudes who died unsung; the other for such immortal literary creations as Peter Rabbit, Rat and Mole, Charlotte, and Hazel, empowered by language and imagination. Will Hare join them, or her own kind? Hamley builds skillfully toward this intriguing, multileveled question; then, wisely, he leaves it open. An appealing, elegantly wrought story that lingers in the mind and is sure to provoke lively discussion. The lovely, delicately suggestive b&w illustrations, reminiscent of Japanese animal paintings, are perfectly in tune with the text.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1990
Page count: 88pp
Publisher: Delacorte