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42
4.6 out of 5 stars
The Midnight Fox
Format: Kindle EditionChange
Price:£2.99
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2003
I started reading this book in an English lesson with a teacher called Mrs Seargent. Hi. At the start of the book I found Tommy was not very active, unlike his dad. But when his mum and dad decide to go on a cycling holiday his surrounding area becomes totally different from concrete to trees and grass. His mind becomes set on helping out a black fox. But how does he do it and what does he protect it from? Tommy becomes a real country boy from a city boy and is so much more confident in himself. I think this would be suitable for age 10-13. I personally found this book very enjoyable.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2011
Simply put this is one of the best books for young children ever written. There is an element of bias to take into account in that statement, due to the fact that as a young lad I had the chance to meet the author at a school visit and went on to read all her books. But the fact that as a middle aged bloke I can still remember the story in detail, the way it made me feel and the love of reading it helped to instill, speaks volumes.

This is the best of Byars books. It has equal appeal to girls and boys - something that is fairly rare and difficult to achieve - and would be enjoyed by children across a wide age range. The language used is sensitive and vivid, with characters developed fully and in a way that we don't often see even in novels of fuller length. The story deals with the every day and the extra-ordinary, building up to a crescendo that has you on the edge of your seat. The ending simultaneously fills you with relief and melancholy and ensures that you go away thinking about what you have just read.

In an age when electronic distractions mean it is harder than ever to get children to sit down with a real book, 'The Midnight Fox' reminds us why it is more important than ever to do just that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2003
When Tommy's parents go away he is sent to a farm with his aunt and uncle. At first Tom dislikes everything apart from his models. He is convinced that if he did not like it once he will not like it now. His whole outlook on life changes when he sees the black fox. He turns into a hero when the fox and her baby are in danger.
Although Betsy Byars go into depth in some parts of the books, I felt that in some parts, it lacked description. A good example of this is Tommy. Although he is the main character, you don't know what he looks like, if not for the pictures.
I loved this book as I felt Tommy's pain when the fox is in trouble and I felt empathy for the little fox. I wanted to read on at home but I never did as then I would know what is happening before we read it class. I will definatly read this book again. Thank you Mrs Sargent for making me read this. :D
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2003
This book has a great storyline and funny characters.The start is all I'm going to tell you,it's about a boy named Tommy who is a boring guy,he loved making plane models until his mum made him go to a farm,to him that was boring but when he met this black fox he had changed.Tommy had a weird friend,Pettie,they played together all the time,they make and eat their own lunch together.Tommy finds neary everything boring,apart from models he has about a million of them!Hope your go and buy this book now after reading my review.Thank you for reading Mrs Sargent.
BYE!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2010
I ordered this book to use with my class of 10 and 11 year olds this term and to say it has been a success is an understatement! As our topic is the USA, the novel was just what I was looking for, being set in the USA and also written by an American author. Knowing very little about the book other than what I had read in other reviews prior to ordering, I was slightly anxious that it would not be as good as suggested. However my class have been riveted by the book and have pleaded with me to read more of it each day when I said we were stopping at a particular point.

From a teaching point of view, the text has provided opportunities for drama (including freeze-framing and hot seating), journalistic writing, poetry and diary writing to name but a few. Perhaps the most successful activity though was when we held a class debate to decide the fate of the fox! Thankfully the ending is not as sad as my class (or me come to that) had feared.

I took this book on holiday with me in the summer and as soon as I had finished it my 12 year old son had his head in it!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2003
My wife asked me to read it to see if she wanted to teach it. She trusted my judgement!
I almost gave up in the first two chapters. I found the dialogue a little tricky to get used to but I persevered. I wasn't disappointed. What I liked most about the book was its unsentimental treament of animals, the landscape, the people and the rural community. It is all so easy to get glassy-eyed over cute furry anumals but here the fox and Tom meet on equal terms. Both have integrity. I like the way Tom understands at such a young age the subtleties of having a relationship with a wild animal. Looking was enough and choosing to release the fox in more ways than one is a powerful picture of relationships at any level.
In the book there are no baddies as such. Its just life if something bad happens. The adults seem to understand and they keep their distance from Tom.
Tom's city friend, Petie Burkis is a great counterpoint to the rural setting and provides wonderful moments of humour in an intense story.
Needless to say, the book is a fine example of a Bildungsroman- Tom changes and grows up by the end of his stay on the farm.
As I write, my wife is teaching this book to her Year 7's. I gave the book my whole hearted recommendation. It is one of the best children's books I have read.
Finally, if you like this book then I am convinced you will enjoy Henrietta Branford's 'Fire, Bed and Bone'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 6 January 2011
I loved this book! A nice short novel at just 144 pages.

A young boy of ten is sent to stay with his aunt and uncle on a farm for a few weeks whilst his parents take a trip to Europe. He's pretty shy and lonely to begin with - only really having one friend who can't go with him. He appears to be disinterested in the farm and animals and does not wish to go, and is not looking forward to the vacation. However; after a few short boring days, he discovers a black fox and cubs and is not only fascinated, but begins to search for her Den and then to protect her from his uncle who wishes to shoot her.

This may seem like a story with a predictable ending - but it isn't. It's sensitively written with lots of anticipation, including many facets of the boy's personality that will have you recollecting similar traits when one was a child oneself.

A delightful read, dotted here and there with rather simple illustrations that will 'break' up the chapters.

Lovely!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2003
The Midnight Fox is a book all about a city boy who is unsure about most things he hasn't done before, but when his Mum and Dad decide to go on a cycling trip in Europe, Tommy has no choise but to go to his Aunt Millie and Uncle Freds farm and live a completely different lifestyle. The country lifestyle is very different to what Tommy is used to, which is staying alone in his room, making models of aircraft but now he starts to try out new things and has a lot of new experiences because of it, especially his experience with the midnight fox, who captures Tommys heart and who changes him into a completly different boy. A boy who is confident, believes in himself and who wants to try new and more exciting things.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2012
One of the best children's books ever written. It will bring tears to some eyes. It is wonderful for an adult to read to a child. I read it to more than one class and they all loved it. Quite an emotional read. Highly recommended.
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on 14 March 2012
This was a pleasant enough book with some good elements of humour and some thought-provoking moments too. As a teacher, I have used this as part of my class 5's literacy work but unfortunately I found that the children did not engage with the story as well as I did. The story ambles along at a gentle pace and some of the events are rather padded out. I loved the personality and humour of Tom's BFF - Petie Burkis and I also liked Tom's tendency to get side-tracked and talk about irrelevancies such as how he'd like to invent a new colour one day - unfortunately, my class did not appreciate either the humour or the irrelevancies and found it rather tedious. The fox does not actually make an appearance until chapter 5 and even then it is a very uneventful entrance which was a little deflating for the listener. The story describes Tom's journey through his initial reluctance to stay on a farm, to his complete absorption with the life of a black fox and her cub. It did offer some excellent opportunities for drama, character analysis and debate but in hindsight I can see that, from a child's perspective, the book lacks excitement. It is a gentle story of a boy's gradual connection with nature but whilst I would probably recommend it from an adult's point of view, I suspect it is one of those books a child might read only a chapter or two of before putting down and never returning to.
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