The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle by Victoria Williamson Age 9 +

This is perhaps my absolute favourite book of all time and I urge everyone who reads this to get hold of a copy. You will not be disappointed.  The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle is a magical, inspiring story of hope, empathy and understanding that made me laugh, cry and reflect throughout.

Set in Glasgow, it tells the story of school bully, Caylin, who is struggling to cope with an impossibly difficult home life and an alcoholic mum who can barely take care of herself, never mind her daughter.  Lonely and isolated she is getting by any way she can.

We then meet Reema, a Syrian refugee who moves into the same block of flats as Caylin.  Miles away from home and in a strange country, Reema struggles to fit and adapt to her new life.

Initially at odds which each other, the two girls form an uneasy alliance as we discover more about their families, their homes and their backgrounds.  We discover they have a shared love of running, and when the girls discover a family of foxes they endeavour to care for them, eventually working together.

I don’t think I have ever read a book that made me think so deeply about it afterwards.  It is written in such a thought-provoking and sensitive way, without judgement being cast on any of the characters, that it forces you to reassess your own preconceptions and reflect on your own attitudes.

The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle is a beautiful, powerful novel and the themes of empathy, hope and understanding linger with you long after the final page.    An absolute must read.

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