Scary Stories for Young Foxes

Christian McKay Heidicker 

with illustrations by Junyi Wu

Henry Holt and Company

August 2019

$26.99 AU

314p hb

ISBN: 978-1250181428

from Macmillan Publishers...

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 hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night

If you have read this novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review/comments to YARR-A

Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker is a 2019 junior horror novel inspired by Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan poe. It follows fox kits Mia and Uly, who after being separated from their litters discover a world filled with danger and monsters at every turn. To find their way to a den, they will have to venture through a dark forest, escape a woman who peels foxes’ skins, and a ghost who hunts them through the snow.

The book is formatted into eight interconnecting stories, although it forms into a main conflict between Uly and his father, known as ‘Mr Scratch’, and the short interval stories are revealed to be Mia, years later, telling the fox kits about her adventure.

I think that this book is suitable for a middle-grade level of reading - around age 12, it’s a good introduction to the horror genre as it’s more creepy at times than scary - some of the worst parts are at times when for example, the foxes find a litter of newborn kits - and lose one in a snowstorm. The novel is quite easy to read, with very informal dialogue, but some of the vocabulary may be a bit difficult for younger readers. 

There are 16 beautiful black and white sketch illustrations in the book - all of them are relevant to the story and are very high quality. I really enjoyed the way it was formatted, as it was fun to work out how the seemingly very different stories ended up connecting to form an overall narrative. Overall a very good read!

Eleanor, age 14

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