Friday, November 23, 2012


A group of mean girls at school have made it their goal to make Abby miserable, and it doesn't help when all Abby has to come home to are parents who constantly nag her about her lack of friends and her weight. Fortunately, an empty lot, the mysterious appearance of a fox, and several unlikely new friends give Abby's life a needed boost.

Abby's mother thinks Abby should be hanging out with her friends, but Abby can't figure out a way to tell her mother that the girls she once called friends have turned into something unpleasant.  Kristen and Georgia and their followers don't think Abby fits into their group any more.  Abby's love of candy and all things yummy mean that she is no longer what she herself describes as a "medium" girl.  Her mother seems to blame Abby for the defection of her friends, and her father only criticizes her about her weight and her need for exercise.

The only place Abby feels free to be herself is in the empty lot across the street.  She disappears there as often as possible to sit among the weeds and wildflowers with her book and her red cooler filled with frozen grapes.  It is here in the empty lot that her life changes.

One afternoon Abby is surprised by the appearance of a small fox.  She didn't even know there were foxes in the area.  The beautiful animal doesn't seem frightened by her and approaches close enough to nip Abby's finger.  That gentle nip works some sort of mysterious magic, and soon after Abby finds herself with several new friends and a real reason for living.

Author Frances O'Roark Dowell has created a refreshing tale about just how much can be overcome with companionship and the right outlook on life.  She combines unique characters, unusual friendships, and a touch of magic to lift the spirit and inspire readers with a positive message about the importance of kindness and compassion.

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