FOXSPELL by Gillian Rubinstein


Age Range: 10 & up
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 A 12-year-old boy confronts the disintegration of his family by transforming himself into a fox in this striking novel from Rubinstein (Galax-Arena, 1995, etc.). When his father flees home to England, Tod moves with his mother and sisters from Sydney to the South Australian countryside, where they settle in with their crusty but spirited grandmother. The transition for Tod is difficult: While his mother pursues a career as a standup comic in seedy bars and his sisters bicker, he attempts to continue his schooling, in spite of learning disabilities and an overcrowded classroom. Rubinstein vividly evokes pastoral Australia, while supplying a wealth of information on foxes that brings the cunning animals alive. She even weaves in aboriginal myths: Tod eventually meets the legendary half-man/half- fox Dan Russell, who offers him the chance to live the life of a fox. Although he first resists, Tod is soon hunting rabbits and eating raw animal flesh and relishing the experience. Readers will find the fantastic aspects of the character's journey satisfying and be sobered by the metaphor of a young boy who survives contemporary family life only by becoming an animal. (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80602-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1996


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