What Happened on Fox Street
  • What Happened on Fox Street
  • What Happened on Fox Street

What Happened on Fox Street

4.6 9
by Tricia Springstubb, Heather Ross
     
 

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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

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Overview

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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061986352
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/24/2010
Pages:
218
Sales rank:
1,461,657
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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