It's told in two different voices-Mia and Uly. Both are fox kits that are living really different lives. Mia comes from a family with a loving mom and brothers and sisters that are kind and supportive of one another. Uly, not so much. Uly has a deformed front paw and his sisters seem bent on getting rid of him. Each one tells a tale of how they end up separated from their moms and their litter mates (terrifying), how they survive, and then how they come together to help each other. Each of their voices is so different and so clear, the kids will easily be able to tell the difference between their stories. There are supportive parents, mean siblings, brave teachers, and evil villains. There is a completely terrifying cameo of Beatrix Potter (I will NEVER read one of HER books ever again, without thinking of this one) as well as a somewhat surprising ending. I loved this one. I think it's going to make a terrific mentor text because of the amazing, vivid language as well as the idea of what makes things scary and what would be scary to someone or something else. I could envision a whole shelf full of books - Scary stories for young bears, Scary stories for young elephants, Scary stories for young badgers, you get the picture. I also think it would make a wonderful animated series. I can't wait to give this one to my students.
Here's a book trailer about the book.
This second one is not as scary as the first one, but it's pretty creepy AND it's based on a true historical event. It's called "The Green Children of Woolpit" and it's written by J. Anderson Coats. It starts off being told by a girl named Agnes who lives in England long ago. She is working in the fields and she gets in trouble pretty often because she is imaginative and likes to tell stories. She got in really big trouble about a year ago, when they were supposed to be watching her best friend's baby brother. The baby died and her friend blames Agnes. Now, many months later, as they're working in the fields, Agnes hears crying. She goes to investigate and finds two kids down at the bottom of the wolf pit. The kids are green (!) and speaking a language that Agnes doesn't understand. When she goes to tell everyone, no one believes her but her friend finally comes and she brings everyone else. When they get the kids out of the pit, Agnes's mother takes the green kids home, because no one else will and it turns out that Agnes's mother did the same thing before, which is how Agnes came to live in this village. It also turns out that the girl from the pit has escaped from the bondage with the fairies and the only way she can win her freedom is to send someone else to live with the fairies and be their slave and that someone is Agnes. This story unfolds in such an interesting way and the fact that it's based on a true story makes it even that much more fascinating. I think the kids are going to like this one a lot.