The City (Scary Stories for Young Foxes #2)

by Christian McKay Heidicker (Author) Junyi Wu (Illustrator)

The City (Scary Stories for Young Foxes #2)

From Christian McKay Heidicker, author of the Thieves of Weirdwood trilogy, comes the heart-stopping companion to the 2020 Newbery Honor recipient Scary Stories for Young Foxes, chronicling the adventures of three fox kits desperate to survive the terrors of a frightening new world.

Fox kit O-370 hungers for a life of adventure, like those lived long ago by Mia and Uly. But on the Farm, foxes know only the safety of their wire dens and the promise of eternal happiness in the white Barn. Or so they're told. When O-370 gets free of his cage, he witnesses the gruesome reality awaiting all the Farm's foxes and narrowly escapes with his life. In a nearby suburb, young Cozy and her skulk are facing an unknown danger, one that hunts foxes.

Forced to flee their den, they travel to a terrifying new world: the City. That's where they encounter O-370, and where they'll need to fight for their lives against mad hounds, killer robots, and the most dangerous of all creatures: humans.

Award-winning author Christian McKay Heidicker once again surprises, delights, and terrifies with eight interconnected stories inspired by classic and modern horror tropes and paired with haunting illustrations from Junyi Wu. Prepare to be scared.

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School Library Journal

Gr 4 and Up - Heidicker, a Newbery Honor recipient, continues his tale-within-a-tale of curious foxes listening to a horrific, cautionary account of survival told by a mysterious storyteller. Heidicker mixes characters from the first book-Mia and Uly, Mr. Scratch, Golgathursh, Miss Vix, curse of yellow stench-with newcomers such as Fern, the farmer, Cakeface and Treacle, 0-370 and R(A)-211 in new stories about inquisitive foxes longing for adventure. The foxes will discover if the city truly is a paradox of paradise and death worth giving up two meals a day. Eerie pencil sketch illustrations combined with a hauntingly antiquated way of speaking (and some modern slang) allows readers to empathize and visualize the world through the foxes' perspective. The foxes struggle to explain or piece together universal truths, but aim to protect themselves and help others along the way. This unique title intends to inspire thought about the consequences of human actions on animals and the environment, and paints humans in a negative light that is more terrifying than the first installment. While all humans are not evil, who to trust is a theme throughout. Readers are inspired to research treatment of rabies in foxes and Heidicker's work could be used as a teaching tool about the importance of vaccinations. While the foxes' story has closure in The City, Heidicker paves the way for more stories to come. VERDICT Haunting and frightening nature tales of foxes in the wild and in a city, perfect for fans of Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox or Sara Pennypacker's Pax; would be a wonderful text for practicing inference skills.

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.


A fur-raising adventure. (Fiction. 9-14)

Copyright 2021 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with Permission

Review quotes

"Dark and skillfully distressing, this is a story for the bold."—Kirkus Reviews

Christian McKay Heidicker

Christian McKay Heidicker reads and writes and drinks tea. He is the author of the Newbery Honor-recipient Scary Stories for Young Foxes, as well as Scary Stories for Young Foxes: The City, Cure for the Common Universe and Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower. With William Shivering, he wrote the Thieves of Weirdwood trilogy. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
August 20, 2021
Scary Stories for Young Foxes

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