Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Second Life of Abigail Walker

Abigail Walker is a shy overweight girl whose friends push her around and whose parents constantly harass her about her weight.  She lives her life hiding her true self from the world until the day she discovers the fox in an abandoned field.

The fox bites Abigail in a gentle and friendly way one afternoon, and suddenly Abigail sees the world in a new way.  She finds the courage to stand up to her friends when she finally realizes they are medium girls living medium lives.  Even when they turn against her, Abby stands her ground.

She also begins to explore her world beyond the boundaries of her neighborhood.  She meets a new friend whose father suffers from PTSD, and and Abby becomes involved in the effort to help him heal.  As she begins to make new friends, she gains self confidence and learns more about the person she wants to be.

The fox is also a recurring character as an ancient creature who has been part of many stories throughout time.

The more I thought about Frances O'Roark Dowell's new book, the more I liked it.  Even with the magical element of the fox, Abby's story feels real and true.

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