Scary Stories for Young Foxes
Inspired by Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, a portrait of survival and a tale of friendship.The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe.When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention.Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen illustrations.

Scary Stories for Young Foxes Details

TitleScary Stories for Young Foxes
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 30th, 2019
PublisherHenry Holt and Company
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Horror, Short Stories, Animals, Fiction, Adventure, Survival, Holiday, Halloween, Animal Fiction, Young Adult

Scary Stories for Young Foxes Review

  • Mary S. R.
    January 1, 1970
    Christian McLay Heidicker's middle-grade novel, a thrilling portrait of survival and an unforgettable tale of friendship.*Sighs* why was this book not there when I was a kid playing on the moist and fresh grass, jumping in pools and shooting my brothers with water guns, tackling my poor friends and burying them under mounds of fallen leaves left in the park, and attacking the passerby with ruthless snow bullets???Hmm? Why wasn't it there?Alas, do not despair, the child in me is quite active, tha Christian McLay Heidicker's middle-grade novel, a thrilling portrait of survival and an unforgettable tale of friendship.*Sighs* why was this book not there when I was a kid playing on the moist and fresh grass, jumping in pools and shooting my brothers with water guns, tackling my poor friends and burying them under mounds of fallen leaves left in the park, and attacking the passerby with ruthless snow bullets???Hmm? Why wasn't it there?Alas, do not despair, the child in me is quite active, thank you, and is currently shouting at me to add this book!And since she cannot be contained and I also have a tendency to indulge my inner 10-year-old self against whom I am utterly powerless, I'm adding this book to my tbr and my calendar, because there is nothing quite more precious than a well written and masterfully woven tale of scary truths of the world and hope for children :)
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I love foxes. I just . . . I love them so much, guys! So every time I find a picture book about foxes, or there's a fox in any kind of book I have to have it, and I'm so excited! But then often sad. Not so much in the picture books, but in the middle grade books where foxes DIE all the time and it's horrible and unnecessary and full of moralizing and all Black Beauty-esque. (Seriously people, WTH? Let. The. Foxes. Be.)I had decided after Pax that I would stick to picture book foxes, but then I f I love foxes. I just . . . I love them so much, guys! So every time I find a picture book about foxes, or there's a fox in any kind of book I have to have it, and I'm so excited! But then often sad. Not so much in the picture books, but in the middle grade books where foxes DIE all the time and it's horrible and unnecessary and full of moralizing and all Black Beauty-esque. (Seriously people, WTH? Let. The. Foxes. Be.)I had decided after Pax that I would stick to picture book foxes, but then I found out that my friend, an amazing person and wonderful writer, was writing a book of connected stories about foxes. And I love Christian, and I trust him. His other two books have been YA, so I got a sense that this was a real pet project or labor of love for him, so I was even more intrigued. It's called SCARY Stories for Young Foxes, and I don't like horror, but STILL I trusted him, and I was not afraid to beg for an Advanced Readers Copy. And I was right to trust Christian.First of all, this book is GORGEOUS. Even though it's an ARC and some art might not be final, etc, the style of the art, both on the cover and the interior is perfect. There are black pages for the framing story, which adds such great atmosphere. And he's just absolutely nailed the fox mannerisms. They way they talk and move and describe things feels so real. It's a sensory-rich book, which really gives you the feeling that this is a story told BY foxes, FOR foxes, and we humans are eavesdroppers. And, yes, foxes die. Kit foxes. Adult foxes. Other animals as well. But none of the deaths feel gratuitous. This book clearly isn't written to have a Big Moral or just to be a Three Hanky Weeper. It's a story of adventure, and friendship, and love, and suspense. And yes, it's a story about foxes. Adorable, wonderful foxes. Precious soft foxes who need to be cuddled. *wipes eyes on fox-patterned silk scarf, applies gloss from cute little Japanese fox-shaped lip gloss*
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  • Betsy
    January 1, 1970
    Horror. Kids eat that stuff up with a spoon. At some point in a human life, a little switch gets flipped in the brain and suddenly, instead of dreading that moment at night when you clutch your bed sheets and pull them over your head, you seek it out. And book publishers, realizing that kids love scary stories, have turned them into a neat and tidy little industry. How else to explain the popularity of series like Goosebumps or the never-unpopular Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark? Actually, Go Horror. Kids eat that stuff up with a spoon. At some point in a human life, a little switch gets flipped in the brain and suddenly, instead of dreading that moment at night when you clutch your bed sheets and pull them over your head, you seek it out. And book publishers, realizing that kids love scary stories, have turned them into a neat and tidy little industry. How else to explain the popularity of series like Goosebumps or the never-unpopular Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark? Actually, Goosebumps isn’t quite the powerhouse these days that it once was. Its gradual release on the industry is now allowing new books to sneak through the cracks. Whether it’s Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener, Katherine Arden’s Small Spaces, Tracey Baptiste’s The Jumbies, or Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm series, there’s something for every kind of horror fan. With all that in mind, a book with a title like Scary Stories for Young Foxes (featuring some seriously cute kits on its cover) seems like weak tea in comparison. Foxes? How scary can that get? Answer: Hoo-boy. Hold onto your hats folks. Turns out, what terrifies a fox can terrify a child just as easily. For some readers the fact that everyone here sports red fur will make the horrors a little better. For others, much much worse.Seven little foxes are on the hunt for frightening tales. Their mother can’t provide the shivers they need so it’s down to Bog Cavern they go. Down to the storyteller who warns them right from the start that what they are about to hear could scare them half to death. Then she starts and the tales suck you in. In one we meet Mia, a kit whose family falls prey to a dangerous “yellow disease”. Then we meet Uly, a kit with only three paws, and a family so deadly it’s a miracle he’s alive. Seemingly disconnected stories are woven together expertly as Mia and Uly’s tales intertwine, separate, and come together again. Beware, gentle reader. These tales are not for the faint of heart. And once you start, you cannot stop until you’ve reached the end.One concern I had as I read this book was the danger that Heidicker would play his hand too soon. The first tale, “Miss Vix” kicks things off beautifully, but was it possible that the scariest stories would be front and center and then everything would calm down as the book went on? To a certain extent that does happen a little. After all, once you’ve met the alligator in Kathy Appelt’s The Underneath, what can a Golgathursh do for you? But then everything picks up again at a furious pace. You have something invisible that’s stealing your children before your very eyes. You have the horror of a zombie paw that can’t be escaped. You have a badger that says things like, “Its sweat will only serve as spice.” And then there’s the fact that Heidicker has the ability to render the banal horrible. Now The Wind in the Willows and Peter Rabbit will always send a small chill down my spine. So long, innocent childhood!All of which is well and good but I would be amiss in not mentioning that Mr. Heidicker turns out to be a very good writer. There’s a restrained humor at work, like on the very first page where you have a patient fox mother asking her kits (in what I consider a moment of admirable restraint) to “please stop biting my face children.” There are beautiful descriptions, like the first sentence of the first chapter: “The sun was only just peeking over the peachleaf trees, but the heat was already crisping the leaves and steaming the creek and making the dying fields too bright to look at.” Or descriptions that are short and sweet and to the point: “Her mom’s voice caught, like it had hooked on a thorn.” The older I get, the more I admire children’s novelists that take time to stop and invoke, even when they’re in the thick of their plotting.I think a lot about what our fiction teaches kids today. To do that, I like to see how books connect to one another. Now the most obvious book to pair this one with is the aforementioned A Tale Dark and Grimm by Gidwitz. The similarities are undeniable. After all, both start out with fairytale like stories that can be seriously frightening and that seem disparate but that come together as the novel progresses. A series that may be less obvious to hand alongside Heidicker’s is Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Look at all three writings and a common theme emerges. Middle grade fiction has always found parents and guardians to be unnecessary to adventuring, so they usually make the heroes orphans. But what these three creations do that is more insidious is tell us in no uncertain terms that if you are a child you cannot count on the adults in your life to protect you. If you are going to survive, don’t expect mommy and daddy to hold your hand. You need to be smart, quick, slick, and to pay attention. You need to use other people’s prejudices against them. Most of all, you need to keep going, even when things get abominably difficult. You’re on your own kid. It’s a good thing. Embrace it.You can tell a lot about a book by its villains. Are they three-dimensional or just soulless killing machines? In a book of this sort, you’ve a wide array from which to choose. Do you consider the “yellow disease” to be a villain? Or the Golgathursh? There are a couple faceless baddies like that, but for the most part the bad guys that we get to know show all kinds of different sides to us. Take, for example, the only human in this book. Pretty much the moment Heidicker turned Beatrix Potter into the stuff of nightmares, I officially fell in love with this book. Her motives are pretty pure and I’m sure there will be plenty of folks who take issue with the characterization, but as far as I’m concerned this marvelous fictionalized Potter is every inch the villain we need. She is not without her reasons for why she does things, but at the same time she’s all the more terrifying for those moments when she gains our sympathy. Worse than Potter, however, is Uly’s father, Mr. Scratch a.k.a. Mr. Toxic Masculinity. The beauty of his rendering is that he’s just as physically threatening as he is emotionally dangerous. We do get a chapter where we see into his brain, and it offers us an understanding (sans sympathy) for this big bad. For me, he’s best when he’s insidious. Mr. Scratch’s grooming of Mia, for example, holds an element to it that adults will cringe from for reasons different than kids. Not many cult leaders in kidlit. Fewer still smelling of lavender.At the end of this book, there is a small explanation about why we tell scary stories. In the case of the foxes, it’s to protect the young ones from a world they have yet to fully inhabit. Is that what we do with our own kids and books like this one? The horrors found here don’t have direct correlations to human life all the time, but that doesn’t make them any less terrifying. Why do kids love horror so much? Why do we provide them with new scares every year? Is it to keep them safe, as the storyteller in this book implies? Maybe in a way, but perhaps it has more to do with the way in which a good story embeds itself into your cranium. Everything we read as children sticks somewhere, whether we remember the exact words or not. When kids read horror novels, they learn that villains can be escaped, beaten, outwitted, outrun. The ending of this book is happy, but in such a way that you understand that that happiness might be fleeting. No, little children. You cannot depend on adults to protect you. What you can count on is stories like this one, to give you the tools you need when the world lets you down. Terrifying and wonderful. A nightmare book you’ll want to return to repeatedly.For ages 10 and up.
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  • Hannah Garrett
    January 1, 1970
    I can’t describe just how much I love this book. It reads to you like you’re one of the foxes, listening to the sage storyteller. You travel through tall grass, wind between trees in the forest, smell purple, jump over large barriers, and feel everything Mia and Uly feel. Each story has a distinctness, and also carries a thread from beginning to end. I haven’t cried at the end of a book as much as I did with this one. Tears of joy and sorrow. But mostly feeling like I immediately missed reading I can’t describe just how much I love this book. It reads to you like you’re one of the foxes, listening to the sage storyteller. You travel through tall grass, wind between trees in the forest, smell purple, jump over large barriers, and feel everything Mia and Uly feel. Each story has a distinctness, and also carries a thread from beginning to end. I haven’t cried at the end of a book as much as I did with this one. Tears of joy and sorrow. But mostly feeling like I immediately missed reading about my friends.
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  • Abigail
    January 1, 1970
    Eager for scary stories, six fox kits sneak away from their den in the Antler Wood and make their way to Bog Cavern, where the old storyteller regales them with the tale of two young foxes, born of different families, whose youthful misfortunes bring them together. When all of Mia's siblings, as well as her tutor Miss Vix are stricken by the "yellow disease," she and her mother set off into exile, only to become separated when they run afoul of an unexpected human enemy, in the form of (view spo Eager for scary stories, six fox kits sneak away from their den in the Antler Wood and make their way to Bog Cavern, where the old storyteller regales them with the tale of two young foxes, born of different families, whose youthful misfortunes bring them together. When all of Mia's siblings, as well as her tutor Miss Vix are stricken by the "yellow disease," she and her mother set off into exile, only to become separated when they run afoul of an unexpected human enemy, in the form of (view spoiler)[Beatrix Potter (hide spoiler)]. Uly, in the meantime, is persecuted by his sisters (and unbeknownst to him at first, his father) for having an atrophied leg, and must eventually flee his own family, when it becomes apparent that his life is in danger. Not yet fully grown, and unprepared for life in the wild, the two kits meet up and go on to encounter many more dangers, all related by the storyteller to the kits in Antler Wood. As each episode is completed, another kit sneaks off home, leading to the question: will any of the listeners stick it out to the end? More importantly, what purpose do these scary stories serve...?Due out for publication next month (August, 2019), Scary Stories for Young Foxes is animal fiction at its best, and I'm grateful to the work colleague who set the ARC of it aside for me, knowing my fondness for fox stories. Christian McKay Heidicker really captures the vulpine perspective in his writing here, and I appreciated the way in which monstrous things, things that might at first glance appear fantastical to the reader, are shown to be natural - for instance, (view spoiler)[the "yellow disease" is clearly rabies (hide spoiler)] - as this highlights how differently things must look to our foxy friends. I wasn't really sure what to expect, going in - horror? dark fantasy? - but what I found was fairly realistic animal fiction, with an emphasis on the hardships and dangers to be found in the wild. I didn't find the stories particularly scary, but clearly the young foxes did, and I would imagine young children might as well. Heidicker writes well, with both humor and pathos, and I was completely invested in these characters, hoping throughout that they would find a (relatively) happy ending. The artwork from Junyi Wu, although not final in this ARC edition, is lovely, and added to my enjoyment, as did the choice to use black paper for the scenes depicting the storyteller and listening foxes, and white paper for the eight inset tales. The tying together of those two strands - storyteller and stories - at the end proved most satisfying. Recommended to fox lovers young and old, as well as to any reader who enjoys good animal fiction.
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  • Dallin
    January 1, 1970
    You want to know what I really thought of this book? Okay, fine! It's the best damn book Heidicker has written to date. I've read his other two books and I knew he was good, but this one is timeless. People should be talking about this book many years from now. It feels like an old tale, something that is both terrifying and familiar, it gets to the heart of what fear is for a young and powerless person who is looking at the world through child size lenses.At the same time, it feels fresh and hi You want to know what I really thought of this book? Okay, fine! It's the best damn book Heidicker has written to date. I've read his other two books and I knew he was good, but this one is timeless. People should be talking about this book many years from now. It feels like an old tale, something that is both terrifying and familiar, it gets to the heart of what fear is for a young and powerless person who is looking at the world through child size lenses.At the same time, it feels fresh and hip. Dammit all, Heidicker! You didn't just do it again, you did a doozy this time.
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  • Ernest Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    I got my hands on an Advance Reader's Edition, and wow. I'm not going to say much, out of fear of spoiling something, so I'll leave it at this: Terrifying. Funny.Edge of the seat thriller.Courageous.Heartbreaking.Heartwarming.Incredible use of language that puts me 100% into the minds of these poor fox kits. Stayed with me long after the read. A new addition to my list of all-time favorite books.
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  • Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Macmillian and Edelweiss for proving an E-arc in exchange for an honest review.
  • Krys Mcintyre
    January 1, 1970
    Scary Stories for Young Foxes is both chilling and tender. I devoured it and loved every bite.
  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliantly written. I started reading and only stopped when I went to get a hoodie and blanket to keep from shivering- the scary story kind of shivering- where you curl up under a blanket and peek out because you *have* to know what happens next. For some reason, I expected this book to be... well... NOT scary. I had to keep reminding myself that I am not a young fox, and badgers and steel traps and humans are not *that* scary. And yet, these young foxes' fight for survival feels incredibly rea Brilliantly written. I started reading and only stopped when I went to get a hoodie and blanket to keep from shivering- the scary story kind of shivering- where you curl up under a blanket and peek out because you *have* to know what happens next. For some reason, I expected this book to be... well... NOT scary. I had to keep reminding myself that I am not a young fox, and badgers and steel traps and humans are not *that* scary. And yet, these young foxes' fight for survival feels incredibly real. The book is divided into eight sections, each with its own short chapters. It is told from the point of view both of a young fox listening to a wise older fox share scary bedtime stories, and from the view of the young foxes in the older fox's stories. As the stories weave together, threats increase. A word to the wise- these stories are not for children who are faint of heart. Fearless children (and grown ups) who love shivery tales will eat this up and ask for more. Semi spoiler alert, to help parents and teachers decide if this is right for your young kits: Foxes both young and old die, family members are sometimes cruel and sometimes kind (as they are in the wild and in "civilization.") Some foxes survive, but many do not. The ending is a little sad, but mostly happy. Heidicker opens the door for discussion on a variety of topics including wildland conservation, abuse, hunting, survival of the fittest, and the power of storytelling to transmit understanding from one generation to the next. In the end, Heidicker brings all the story's threads together in an unexpected way, leaving readers with a greater respect for nature and a cozy feeling of wanting to hug those you love and thank your lucky stars you were not born a young fox!
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  • Katherine Moore
    January 1, 1970
    Life as a young fox is scary, with so much to learn about the dangers out there in the woods. Little foxes learn about these dangers from their mama, a masterful storyteller, or the hard way, by facing the world. This beautifully-written and illustrated middle-grade book invites the reader to step inside the minds of little foxes, and embark on an adventure, full of the real-life challenges that they often face: Nasty humans, vicious woodland creatures like the Golgathursh and badgers, and dange Life as a young fox is scary, with so much to learn about the dangers out there in the woods. Little foxes learn about these dangers from their mama, a masterful storyteller, or the hard way, by facing the world. This beautifully-written and illustrated middle-grade book invites the reader to step inside the minds of little foxes, and embark on an adventure, full of the real-life challenges that they often face: Nasty humans, vicious woodland creatures like the Golgathursh and badgers, and dangerous territorial foxes. And especially the harsh Winter.This is a tale within a tale, and just like scary stories told around a campfire, it has elements of horror and delight. Not only is it precautionary for fox kits, like foxes Mia and Uly, readers will recognize the themes of friendship, family, bravery, and the drive to push ahead when life is difficult. Author Christian McKay Heidicker has a way with words too, and through his writing he has conveyed a very vivid picture of woodland life, describing objects as a fox would see them, and creating new words for things that wouldn’t make sense to them. He also doesn’t shy away from the brutality of nature, from the cycle of life and death, and the struggle for survival against the most difficult of odds. The young foxes in his story face hunters, painful separation from family members, and gruesome injuries and death. Heidicker draws inspiration from classic authors Bram Stoker, Edgar Allen Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft, and weaves in a very well-known children’s book author into this very book; young readers who love a scary story will enjoy this, but it’s not for those who are easily upset by animals getting hurt or struggle with the harshness of nature.The most wonderful part in my reading this (aside from enjoying the adventure and the amazing artwork by Junyi Wu) was how it reminded me of discovering books about animals in my childhood, such as ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ ‘The Wind in The Willows,’ and ‘Watership Down.’ I enjoyed these with my dad, and they fueled my love and compassion for animals. I expect many readers who will enjoy this book will be or are animal-lovers too, as Heidicker has embodied the curious and mischievous nature of foxes so well in this book, and it’s really hard not to love them because of it. This deserves to be a children’s animal classic!**Thank so much to the editor, Christian Trimmer of Henry Holt Books, for my early copy and the chance to read and review this book.
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  • Jera Petersen
    January 1, 1970
    The epitome of theatrical syntax, Christian Heidicker’s writing is rich in detail yet clear in meaning; enveloping the perfect mix of anticipatory foreshadowing with the stomach-dropping realization of hindsight. Even if it were stripped of its’ magnificent attention to detail, the emotionally-charged plot and seat-edged pace of Scary Stories for Young Foxes requires that you (yes, YOU) buy this book ASAMPLR (As Soon As Miss Potter Leaves the Room) with no regard for current proximity to October The epitome of theatrical syntax, Christian Heidicker’s writing is rich in detail yet clear in meaning; enveloping the perfect mix of anticipatory foreshadowing with the stomach-dropping realization of hindsight. Even if it were stripped of its’ magnificent attention to detail, the emotionally-charged plot and seat-edged pace of Scary Stories for Young Foxes requires that you (yes, YOU) buy this book ASAMPLR (As Soon As Miss Potter Leaves the Room) with no regard for current proximity to October 31st. The stories enclosed in these pages—so artfully interconnected— chronicle the lives of two young foxes whose soon-to-be comings-of-age are horrifically hijacked. One heart pounding scenario after another keep Uly and Mia on their toes (all 12 and 16 of them, respectively), encompassing a spectrum of stomach-dropping themes. As the kits come of age through the mist, and in the midst, of on-the-run adversity, readers of Foxes, too, will come to realize that not all horrors lunge with sharp claws and gooey eyes—that, in fact, betrayal can sink as deep as any fox’s incisors. You, the reader of this review, are probably already aware of the difference you feel between the rational digestion of horrors detailed in a book’s pages, and actually feeling the horror of what you’re reading, as you’re reading it? Suffice to say, both of these conditions are satisfied—a feeling you will soon have upon reading this book—in Foxes. Watch out! These stories will capture the imagination of any reader…so, you know. Try not to get too attached to minor characters. Regardless of age, young readers (or young listeners) will find Uly and Mia both engaging and relatable characters; parents will appreciate the breadth of inner negotiation and dialogue experienced by Uly and Mia as they navigate interactions, conflicts, and decision making. Adult fans of Adventure Time are also invited to apply.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Delightfully dark for a middle grade and the illustrations were wonderful
  • Emi
    January 1, 1970
    This book touched all of my little heart and soul strings in all the right places! Lured me in and made me reflect on love, life and loss. Exactly what I needed to read!
  • Maggie
    January 1, 1970
    I grew up loving scary stories and wish this was one of the books I had on my shelf when I was younger. Told from the perspective of a wise old fox to kits, the tale weaves together the story of two young foxes as they navigate the dangers of life when they are forced to leave the comfort of their dens. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, and I found it hard to put down. The characters are complex and lovely - saying 'goodbye' at the end was difficult.Heidicker is original and imag I grew up loving scary stories and wish this was one of the books I had on my shelf when I was younger. Told from the perspective of a wise old fox to kits, the tale weaves together the story of two young foxes as they navigate the dangers of life when they are forced to leave the comfort of their dens. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, and I found it hard to put down. The characters are complex and lovely - saying 'goodbye' at the end was difficult.Heidicker is original and imaginative! I particularly enjoyed the twisted Beatrice Potter character that one of the kits encounters and learning about foxes' natural instincts. (Did you know that foxes use the Earth's magnetic field when hunting?) What I found most impressive is how Heidicker navigates the fine line between childhood and adulthood in real life themes like loss, love, fear, abuse, and change. Amazing.In the end, this book is perfect for anyone who loves a good scary story. It's imaginative, chilling, and exciting.
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  • Page
    January 1, 1970
    Although this novel targets a teen demographic, I, as an attempted adult, thoroughly enjoyed it. The different short stories touch on many characteristics of horror fiction but they all maintain H P Lovecrafts’ idea of ‘fear of the unknown’. The two young kits that dominate the story are constantly challenged with loss, survival, companionship and abandonment, all while bringing to light issues such as conservation, chain of command and disease. You’ll start to compare your own life experiences Although this novel targets a teen demographic, I, as an attempted adult, thoroughly enjoyed it. The different short stories touch on many characteristics of horror fiction but they all maintain H P Lovecrafts’ idea of ‘fear of the unknown’. The two young kits that dominate the story are constantly challenged with loss, survival, companionship and abandonment, all while bringing to light issues such as conservation, chain of command and disease. You’ll start to compare your own life experiences with Mia and Uly and question what you’d do in their situation and whether you’d have the courage to push through. Spoiler alert: I cried.
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  • Jac
    January 1, 1970
    I was honored to receive an ARC in exchange for an honest review... and I have hesitated to write one for multiple reasons. Mainly, I don’t think I have the writing skills to describe my feelings about this book. I’ll try to summarize in 3 points: 1. I forced myself to stop reading twice so that I could try to savor each page. Even still, I finished it in 3 days. 2. I know what I am getting every single person on my Christmas list this year. (Hint: it’s this book. Not a joke.)3. It honestly feel I was honored to receive an ARC in exchange for an honest review... and I have hesitated to write one for multiple reasons. Mainly, I don’t think I have the writing skills to describe my feelings about this book. I’ll try to summarize in 3 points: 1. I forced myself to stop reading twice so that I could try to savor each page. Even still, I finished it in 3 days. 2. I know what I am getting every single person on my Christmas list this year. (Hint: it’s this book. Not a joke.)3. It honestly feels like I’ve experienced something special. I just read a work of art that is going to make an impact. I won’t delve any into the details on characters, writing style, etc. You don’t need to know anything before hand. Just get your paws 🐾 on this book, you will not regret it. 🦊🖤
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  • Korey
    January 1, 1970
    My son (8) and I have been reading an ARC copy at bedtime and we love it. The chapters are perfect bedtime size and the stories are spooky, charming and funny. He laughed harder than he had at any other story at one moment early in the book. This book is a delight and we’ve already pre-ordered a copy for our shelves.
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  • Davey Davis
    January 1, 1970
    If you've ever seen a fox at work, you've probably noticed that they're a cut above most animals when it comes to resourcefulness. In Heidicker's new book, the secret lives of foxes growing up are imbued with as much magic, mystery, and relatability as any of the great middle-grade/YA literature to date. What start out as extant short stories weave together into a compelling narrative focusing on Mia and Uly, young foxes in their first winter out of the den. These cautionary tales are told to a If you've ever seen a fox at work, you've probably noticed that they're a cut above most animals when it comes to resourcefulness. In Heidicker's new book, the secret lives of foxes growing up are imbued with as much magic, mystery, and relatability as any of the great middle-grade/YA literature to date. What start out as extant short stories weave together into a compelling narrative focusing on Mia and Uly, young foxes in their first winter out of the den. These cautionary tales are told to a litter of kits who try to stick through chapter after grisly chapter to find out what happens to Mia and Uly as they grow up. The little foxes listen transfixed, and you will, too, as they hear tales of berserk badgers, howling winters, territorial fathers, tortuous humans, and even a many-headed waterbeast called a Golgathrush.Heidicker cleverly avoids simply making his characters anthropomorphized, instead basing all their actions, motivations, and idiosyncrasies on actual factoids that make foxes (and the book) all the more interesting. His foxes seem imbued with magical realism, tilting their noses toward true north so to supernaturally become better hunters, fascinating characteristics made all the more enjoyable if, like me, you do some lazy googling and discover they are all based on well-researched fox behavior. Likewise, when a famous human makes an appearance, her villainous behavior is all the more chilling as it is shown to be entirely biographical. Tricks like this make the book edifying, but what makes these fox adventures truly stick is the fresh narrative and believable plot twists and turns. You and your cubs (of any species) will enjoy it, either for young adult or middle-grade readers or to be read out loud to younger kids. Be warned, these stories are quite scary, and while the author keeps things tasteful, the forest is a dangerous place, and many foxes (and at least one rabbit) don't make it to the end of the story.
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    Special thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC and the opportunity to read and review this book before its release date. This, however, does not reflect the opinions in my review.I admit, I requested this book on the sole reason of how FREAKING CUTE the cover is, so kudos on the cover artist for selling me on that alone. I wish the eARC would have had the other illustrations available, too, but I guess that’s all the more reason for me to order the book once it releases.Scary Stories Special thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC and the opportunity to read and review this book before its release date. This, however, does not reflect the opinions in my review.I admit, I requested this book on the sole reason of how FREAKING CUTE the cover is, so kudos on the cover artist for selling me on that alone. I wish the eARC would have had the other illustrations available, too, but I guess that’s all the more reason for me to order the book once it releases.Scary Stories for Young Foxes was a delightful read, all around. The book opens with a litter of fox kits running off to visit a mysterious story-teller in the Antler Wood, as they’ve outgrown the “scary stories” their mother tells them. They discover the story-teller and they are certainly in for a bone-chilling treat as each story the story-teller tells sends one of the fox kits running home to the safety of their mother. And while each story is essentially a short story in the novel, there’s an overarching plot involving two foxes in particular – Mia and Uly – and their various encounters in the woods once they leave their dens. I found each story to be engaging. They manage to hold attention and keep the reader engaged and I even felt myself rooting for the characters in the stories, despite the fact that they were short stories. I was surprised by how dark some of the themes in the stories were. The author didn’t shy away from death, blood or spooky imagery and some of the characters were downright ruthless. I definitely think that this novel can give a nice fright to a young reader who is looking for something to tingle their spine! Despite how heavy some of the themes of the short stories could be, there were still lighter, more happy moments and I especially liked the ending and how everything tied up nicely. A very nice read, overall and I would certainly recommend it to an adventurous young reader.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    Heidicker is an amazing storyteller. I never expected that some of my favorite characters would be foxes, but I quickly became attached to Mia and Uly and related on so many levels to their stories. Within the first few pages, I felt like I was perceiving the world through all five senses as a little kit fox (and didn’t put the book down for six hours). I’m convinced Heidicker was a fox in a past life - how else could he perfectly capture all of the intimate and nuanced details of fox-hood?! Bra Heidicker is an amazing storyteller. I never expected that some of my favorite characters would be foxes, but I quickly became attached to Mia and Uly and related on so many levels to their stories. Within the first few pages, I felt like I was perceiving the world through all five senses as a little kit fox (and didn’t put the book down for six hours). I’m convinced Heidicker was a fox in a past life - how else could he perfectly capture all of the intimate and nuanced details of fox-hood?! Bravo.
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  • Michelle M
    January 1, 1970
    I expected to like this book. I collect ghost stories and loved the premise of what would make a scary story for a young fox, so I was really looking forward to it. And then I read it, and I'm afraid I'm going to be gushy because--Oh My. I loved the book so much. It is a collection of short stories, but they're stories that get caught up in the narration of a bigger tale, turning the lovely bits of fiction into a beautiful, scary, heartbreaking, and--ultimately--hopeful novel.Scary Stories for Y I expected to like this book. I collect ghost stories and loved the premise of what would make a scary story for a young fox, so I was really looking forward to it. And then I read it, and I'm afraid I'm going to be gushy because--Oh My. I loved the book so much. It is a collection of short stories, but they're stories that get caught up in the narration of a bigger tale, turning the lovely bits of fiction into a beautiful, scary, heartbreaking, and--ultimately--hopeful novel.Scary Stories for Young Foxes is now in my favorites list. It's one of those rare few that catch something in you and stay forever.
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  • Shannoningletyahoo.Com
    January 1, 1970
    A chillingly delightful read for foxes and humans alike! As the Storyteller recounts the harrowing journey of the kits, Mia and Uly, haunting cautionary tales unfold, reminding all of us that growing up in this world is perilous, but friendship and family make it worthwhile. I highly recommend this book… if you’re brave enough to enter the Antler Wood.
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    THIS IS FOR KIDS?? I'M TWENTY-NINE AND NOW I'M TERRIFIED OF BEATRIX POTTER COMING TO STEAL MY SOULI glanced at the cover without reading the synopsis and thought, "Oh, cute. A bunch of spooky stories told by foxes." But it turned out this thing was pure, unleaded nightmare fuel. I couldn't stop reading. I had to get to the end to see how all this horror was going to turn out. I didn't expect this to be so bloody and enjoyable! Excellent use of the story-within-a-story trope, AND the parallel sto THIS IS FOR KIDS?? I'M TWENTY-NINE AND NOW I'M TERRIFIED OF BEATRIX POTTER COMING TO STEAL MY SOULI glanced at the cover without reading the synopsis and thought, "Oh, cute. A bunch of spooky stories told by foxes." But it turned out this thing was pure, unleaded nightmare fuel. I couldn't stop reading. I had to get to the end to see how all this horror was going to turn out. I didn't expect this to be so bloody and enjoyable! Excellent use of the story-within-a-story trope, AND the parallel stories format. The premise is some fox kits want a scary story, so they go find the Storyteller who takes them through eight connected tales. Which kits will chicken out? And then of course the stories themselves starts with genuinely terrifying zombies and gets darker from there.Five stars, would read again. Give this to kids who love foxes and are prepared to stop sleeping.
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  • Beatrice Teigen
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! It only took me two days to read it because I couldn't put it down. My favorite part about it was the two amazing and invincible Uly and Mia. Thank you Christian McKay Heidicker for creating this frightening, intriguing story about two young foxes that just would not die. I would recommend this book to all of my brave friends.
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  • Cheryl McKay
    January 1, 1970
    Although this book is written for young foxes it gave me the shivers. It shows real problems that the kits will probably face during their lives which added another dimension to the tales. Youthful animals and children don't really understand what might face them in their worlds and these stories brought back that naivety as I perused each chapter. The personalities are well developed and they interplay on deep levels adding the intricate touch that a quality novel contains.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written, matched by illustrations that suit the tone of the stories perfectly. Be aware that these stories really are scary. Baby foxes are adorable, for sure. These stories, however are not cute. They are frightening and poignant, and engage pretty brilliantly with some of the great tropes of horror writing. Yes, you still get your middle-grade happy ending. But be prepared for some violent deaths along the way.
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  • Quinton Inglet
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing story! The colorful and poetic language is the only indicator that this book is intended for younger readers. Entertaining for all ages!
  • Izi
    January 1, 1970
    This spooky story will give you delightful chills and make you glad you’re not a fox! Can you make it to the end or will you get too scared like the little foxes listening to this scary story?
  • Beittany
    January 1, 1970
    This book had me laughing, crying, and cringing. It's a perfect story for those, young and old, who are imaginative and curious, much like our new little fox friends.
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