Sunday, January 31, 2021

Book Review: Red Fox Road (MG) (wilderness adventure) by Frances Greenslade

 Won the 2021 Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing

Red Fox Road asks the question what do you do when someone you love leaves?

Buy this book

Published by Puffin Canada

an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers

Published in 2020

In March, to celebrate her thirteenth birthday, Frances Fox's parents--Leonard and Adele--give her a wilderness adventure. One early morning in April, the family leave their home in Pentiction, BC to hike the Grand Canyon in Oregon. These plans are upended when their truck stalls leaving them stranded.

Leonard is a mail carrier for Canada Post...

'If there was one thing Dad was good at, he always said, it was walking.' (p. 126)

So he sets off to find help leaving Frances and Adele behind.

This isn't the first time Frances has been left. Her twin sister Phoebe died five and a half years ago. Her beloved grandma died two years ago. Frances's mom Adele has been hospitalized more than once due to mental health crises.

 Frances is a survivor. In the opening scene of Red Fox Road, we see Frances in the backseat of the truck with a survival guidebook open on her lap.

Frances dreams about living in her grandma's cabin on Gem Lake --'like Grandma did, all by herself, all summer long.' (p. 17)

However, Frances soon learns that surviving in the bush requires providing for her basic needs--food, water, shelter--as well as maintaining a positive attitude. Is Frances up for the challenge?

'My mind...can be my best friend or it can be my worst enemy, Fierce Frances said, "Don't hang out with your worst enemy. Who does that? Hang out with your best friend."' (p.96)

Red Fox Road is a hopeful, thoughtful story with a relatable character. Once you start reading you'll root for "Fierce" Frances and won't be able to leave her. Once you start reading Red Fox Road you'll keep flipping those pages until...


February on this blog...

Book Reviews

Two books about being Muslim in North America...

Sunday, February 7

How It All Blew Up

by Arvin Ahmadi

Sunday, February 21

The Parkour Club

by Pam Withers and Arooj Hayat

A Poem and a Short Story

Sunday, February 14

St. Valentine's Day

The Crush (poem)

by Leanne Dyck

Sunday, February 28

Who's Bigger? (short story)

by Leanne Dyck

Virtual Author Readings

Wednesday, February 3

Something Good to Eat (short story)

inspired by Icelandic folklore

Wednesday, February 10

Island Storyteller on Stage (short story)

inspired by my love of reading my writing to a supportive audience

Wednesday, February 17

Storytime (short story)

to celebrate I Read Canada Day

Wednesday, February 24

Ice Angel (short story)

about meeting a magical child on a dark night

Sharing my author journey...

Some times I think, I really have no idea how to write this scene.

The rest of the manuscript is so good (humble, right?), I don't want to ruin the story by writing garbage. I feel the pressure and the words stop flowing. This worries me even more--along the lines of I'll never be able to find the right words.

Crack up the pressure, even more. I imagine the manuscript gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. 

Eventually, all this neurosis brings me to, this manuscript is just too good to befall that fate. I have to try even if it's junk. I give myself permission to write junk and the words come. 

You'd think writing a book-length manuscript would get easier. It's been my experience that it does, a little, but not much. 

word count:  27, 656 words

goal:  40,000 + words