What Happened on Fox Street

( 9 )


Fox Street was a dead end. In Mo Wren's opinion, this was only one of many wonderful, distinguishing things about it.

Mo lives on Fox Street with her dad and little sister, the Wild Child. Their house is in the middle of the block—right where a heart would be, if the street were a person. Fox Street has everything: a piano player, a fix-it man, the city's best burrito makers, a woman who cuts Mo's hair just right, not to mention a certain boy who wants to teach her how to ...

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What Happened on Fox Street

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Fox Street was a dead end. In Mo Wren's opinion, this was only one of many wonderful, distinguishing things about it.

Mo lives on Fox Street with her dad and little sister, the Wild Child. Their house is in the middle of the block—right where a heart would be, if the street were a person. Fox Street has everything: a piano player, a fix-it man, the city's best burrito makers, a woman who cuts Mo's hair just right, not to mention a certain boy who wants to teach her how to skateboard. There's even a mean, spooky old lady, if ringing doorbells and running away, or leaving dead mice in mailboxes, is your idea of fun. Summers are Mo's favorite time, because her best friend, Mercedes, comes to stay.

Most important, though, Fox Street is where all Mo's memories of her mother live. The idea of anything changing on Fox Street is unimaginable—until it isn't.

This is the story of one unforgettable summer—a summer of alarming letters, mysterious errands, and surprising revelations—and how a tuft of bright red fur gives Mo the courage she needs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Springstubb centers her story around Fox Street, a dead-end road where a cast of diverse, blue-collar characters eke out existences. To Mo Wren--an analytical, practical girl who lives with her overworked father and younger sister, Dottie, "the Wild Child"--Fox Street has just about everything, except the one thing Mo longs to find: foxes. Springstubb gently and wistfully describes a summer of tough changes for Mo: her best friend, Mercedes, announces she's not coming back (she has always spent summers on Fox Street with her grandmother), just as Mo's father threatens to relocate her own family. There is a lovely poetry to Springstubb's writing ("Just ahead lay a majestic, fallen tree, its bark thick and protective as the shingles on a house"), and her characters create the kind of interesting neighborhood most kids wish they had: Mrs. Steinbott, the "mean, spooky" neighbor, whose "life was solitary as the unplanet Pluto"; Mercedes's sensible grandmother; and the mischievous Baggott boys, who are named after zodiac signs. Mo's journey isn't particularly action packed, but in a singsong, lazy-summer-afternoon kind of way it's quite refreshing. Ages 8-12. (Aug.) T he Adventures of Nanny Piggins R.A. Spratt, illus. by Dan Santat Little, Brown, .99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-316-06819-2 The premise of Spratt's uninhibited debut--that a work-obsessed widower is so desperate for a nanny for his three children that he hires a former flying circus pig--is only the first of the absurdities in this collection of adventures. Sugar- obsessed Nanny Piggins, who considers school a cruel punishment, is a child's fantasy of the ideal caregiver: "She let them keep ferrets in their bedrooms, drive their father's ride-on lawnmower to the store, and eat nothing but sweets for dinner, all the time." She outwits headmasters, burglars, and circus ringmasters, and leads the children on one ridiculous escapade after another: a trip to the beach leads to being stranded at sea and rescued by Korean sailors. The sassy, tongue-in-cheek voice is rampant with asides to readers, usually variations on "which is only the truth" or "you have to understand," which can become tiresome. The plots and conflicts are thin, but readers looking for nonstop giggles and cheerful political incorrectness will devour this as quickly as Nanny Piggins can consume a chocolate cake. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Mo Wren has lived her almost ten years of life on Fox Street and she loves it there. The short dead-end road has everything. Mo's mother had died in an automobile accident several years before and Mo is responsible for Dottie, her five-year-old sister, while her dad works long hours. Mo is excited because her best friend is coming to spend the summer with her grandmother across the street. But Mercedes has changed and nothing seems the same. Mercedes has a new stepfather and an upscale lifestyle. Her grandmother has had surgery and her energy is waning. A developer wants to buy the Wren home and other neighborhood houses to tear them down and build an office complex. Mo wanders in the ravine at the end of the block hoping to see a fox, but all she finds is a clump of fur. When a huge rainstorm finally breaks the long drought, Dottie gets lost in the ravine and the neighbors all turn out to look for her, resulting in an impromptu party when she is found. The story has a nostalgic feel and moves at a rather slow pace. Mo and Dottie seem older than their stated ten and five years of age. The intended audience is not clear. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–7—Thoughtful 11-year-old Mo Wren loves the house on Fox Street that she shares with her father and younger sister, the "Wild Child." Everyone in this blue-collar neighborhood in Cleveland, OH, looks out for one another; there is a lush Green Kingdom of woods and trees at the end of the street; and her best friend, Mercedes, comes from Cincinnati to spend each summer with her grandmother, Da, who lives across the way. The street also holds all of Mo's memories of her deceased mother. When life takes some unanticipated turns, however, the world as Mo knows it is threatened. A shady developer offers her father a lucrative deal on the house, giving hope to his dreams of moving away from the painful past and owning a family-friendly sports bar. Mercedes seems different also now with more luxuries than she and her mother could ever have afforded before her mother's new marriage, causing her to notice the shabbiness of Fox Street. Because of Da's failing health, the family plans to take her to Cincinnati to live with them and Mo worries that she will never get to see Mercedes again. Throw in a spooky old lady next door who asks Mo to deliver mysterious gifts to Mercedes and you've got an eventful summer. Springstubb creates a richly human and believable story of the conflicts of growing up and a well-paced, interesting plot with plenty of surprises that readers should find pleasurable and satisfying.—D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Mo mostly loves living on Fox Street, which has everything except foxes, girlfriends and her mom (who died when she was young). Which is why she's eagerly waiting for her best friend Mercedes to arrive and stay the summer with her grandmother, Da, who lives across the street. The first sign that this summer won't be the same is that Mercedes has shaved her head in rebellion against her new stepfather. As the town waits for badly needed rain, tensions build when the residents receive registered letters claiming a neighbor has sold their house, and they should too. Multiple issues are linked: Mo's dad's unhappiness over his job with the water department, which leaves Mo in charge of her wild young sister; Da's diabetes, which caused her to lose toes; the strange behavior of old Mrs. Steinbott; eminent domain; race relations—and Mo's need to find a fox. Springstubb effectively turns the neighborhood into a character in its own right, one that's loving and protective. Mo's voice is original, though it has tinctures of Scout and Harriet. What happened on Fox Street? Love, belief and caring. (Fiction. 8-12)
Mary Quattlebaum
Readers…will care what happens to these lovingly drawn characters even as Mo confronts inevitable change…Among today's many angst-ridden tales, this big-hearted novel stands out for its portrayal of connection and kindness.
—The Washington Post
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Mo Wren, 11, loves her home on Fox Street where she lives with her father and younger sister, Dottie. It's a run-down neighborhood, but everyone knows everyone else and there's a real feeling of community. This summer Mo is watching her sister, looking for a fox she believes has a den near the neighborhood, and spending time with her friend Mercedes. She must also deal with changes that seem to be on the way. A shady developer has targeted Fox Street and is trying to get the residents to sell, threatening the use of "eminent domain." Mo stands firm for the home she loves—the home that holds memories of her deceased mother. It's an eventful summer with friendships lost and found, secrets revealed, and family ties strengthened. The book (Balzer + Bray, 2010) by Tricia Springstubb is read with humor and sympathy by Jeannie Stith who creates unique voices for the characters. This is a nice treatment of a moving, slice-of-life tale that also gently teaches that you can draw strength from the past while moving with courage into the future.—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061986352
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/24/2010
  • Pages: 218
  • Sales rank: 1,456,313
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Tricia Springstubb

Tricia Springstubb has been a teacher and a children's librarian. Like Mo, she has a red-haired sister, lives on a really cool street, and loves quiet, green places. She has seen a fox once in her life and will never forget it. Tricia is the mother of three daughters and lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2014

    May I join?

    My name is Tif. I am a female. Plz can I join?~•••Tif•••

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2014

    Can i join Foxclan

    My dick hurts. Can i join foxclan?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2014


    I like empty camps.))

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2014

    Map and Rules of FoxClan

    Res 1:Map and Rules<br>
    Res 2:Main Camp, Dens, and Forest<br>
    Res 3: Bios<br>
    Res 4+: Extra Forest<p>
    1:Absolutely NO godmodding!!! If you godmod, you will be given two warnings and then you will be asked to leave.<br>
    2:Don't kick anyone out of the clan or raid unless you have my permission. If I am not on at that certain time, just wait.<br>
    3:Don't be an attention hog!! Drama is okay every once in a while, but don't come into camp every time you come on with a bloody gash down your side.<br>
    4:Please don't ask me if you can have special powers, weird fur colors, etc. Also, don't ask if you can be an animal other than a fox. I will say NO.<br>
    5:Absolutely NO cussing. Period.<p>
    Anything else just ask!!~ Tek (leader of FoxClan)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

    Cant wait to finish

    I really cant wait to finish i have the free sample but its still really good and i also woder what happend to her mom

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2012

    Purple cow lover

    This book is a great book (so ive been told) i cant wait to read it at least i think i do

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 24, 2011

    Live To Read

    Mo Wren loves living on Fox Street. There¿s something good and interesting about every neighbor, except one¿but then, even Mrs. Steinbott, turns out to have a kind heart and a mystery! Author Springstubb introduces characters from Mo¿s melting pot cul-de-sac. Da, Mo¿s neighborhood grandma, is a big-hearted woman who is beginning to have trouble living alone. Her best friend Mercedes is frustrated with her own family¿s changes, a new stepdad.
    Since Mo¿s mom died, she has been responsible for her little sister, Wild Child Dottie. Her father dreams of starting his own business and selling the house; and because of a shady real estate speculator, he may get his chance to sell Mo¿s precious Fox Street home. While solving the mystery of Mrs. Steinbott and discovering the Fox Street fox, Mo has to learn to adjust to the changes she dreads.
    Young readers from third grade through middle school may enjoy reading about Mo¿s adventures, friendships, imagination, and loyalties.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2011

    Great Book!

    This is a great book that I highly reccomend. I felt like I was right beside Mo throughout all her ups and downs. I loved it!

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    love it!!!!!!!!!!

    i loved this book and it is GREAT for kids ages 8+. always a favorite

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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