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What Happened on Fox Street (Mo Wren) Hardcover – August 24, 2010


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What Happened on Fox Street (Mo Wren) + Mo Wren, Lost and Found
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Series: Mo Wren
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray; First Edition edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061986356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061986352
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,956,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-7–Thoughtful 11-year-old Mo Wren loves the house on Fox Street that she shares with her father and younger sister, the "Wild Child." Everyone in this blue-collar neighborhood in Cleveland, OH, looks out for one another; there is a lush Green Kingdom of woods and trees at the end of the street; and her best friend, Mercedes, comes from Cincinnati to spend each summer with her grandmother, Da, who lives across the way. The street also holds all of Mo's memories of her deceased mother. When life takes some unanticipated turns, however, the world as Mo knows it is threatened. A shady developer offers her father a lucrative deal on the house, giving hope to his dreams of moving away from the painful past and owning a family-friendly sports bar. Mercedes seems different also now with more luxuries than she and her mother could ever have afforded before her mother's new marriage, causing her to notice the shabbiness of Fox Street. Because of Da's failing health, the family plans to take her to Cincinnati to live with them and Mo worries that she will never get to see Mercedes again. Throw in a spooky old lady next door who asks Mo to deliver mysterious gifts to Mercedes and you've got an eventful summer. Springstubb creates a richly human and believable story of the conflicts of growing up and a well-paced, interesting plot with plenty of surprises that readers should find pleasurable and satisfying.D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Fox Street is missing a few things. One of them is foxes. The other is Mo Wren’s mother, who died when Mo’s sister, Dottie, was little more than a toddler. Even though they’re not around, 10-year-old Mo never stops looking for a fox in the ravine where her street dead-ends. And she never stops missing her mother, even as she takes on the responsibility of being in charge of wild-child Dottie and helping her dad. Fox Street, however, is home to some wonderful things as well: good neighbors, a plum tree in the backyard, and in the summertime, a best friend, Mercedes, who comes to stay with her grandmother, Da. When Mercedes arrives, summer really begins, but this year it is full of conundrums and upsets for both girls as their lives change and truths are revealed. Mo especially sees that the harder she tries to hold on, the less she can control. Springstubb does a lovely job of mixing character, plot, and purpose in a story that contains both hardscrabble realities and moments of magic realism. Her fluency of language supports both scenes that are down and dirty and those that soar. But it is her ability to render Mo’s tangle of emotions as her hopes and dreams collide with worries and fears that makes this so memorable. Grades 4-7. --Ilene Cooper

More About the Author

Tricia is the author of many books for children, including the award winning middle grade novel "What Happened on Fox Street" and its well-loved sequel, "Mo Wren Lost and Found". Her new picture book, pubbing in spring of 2013 and illustrated by Jeff Newman, is "Phoebe and Digger". Tricia has worked as a Head Start teacher and a children's librarian. Besides writing and, of course, reading, she loves doing school and library visits. Mother of three grown daughters, she lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. You can visit her and read her journal at www.triciaspringstubb.com

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Overall, I really liked these books and had a lot of fun reading them.
Young Mensan BookParade
This would be a good choice for reading aloud to kids, say, eight and above, and for an adult/child book discussion group.
Kathy Ewing
In Mo Wren's opinion, this was only one of many wonderful, distinguishing things about it.
Robert Kent

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kent on November 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
You know how agents and editors and writing guides like to say that the setting should be a character in your story? No? Well, gee, this is awkward:) But if you have heard that, and I'd guess you have and you wondered what it meant, read What Happened on Fox Street. Fox Street is a character in this novel, I would even say a main character. Not the main character, but a main character.

Mo Wren, an eleven-year-old girl, is the protagonist, but only just barely. I think it's telling that the first line in the novel is about Fox Street and the second is about Mo, and more, it's about her thoughts on Fox Street: FOX STREET WAS A DEAD END. In Mo Wren's opinion, this was only one of many wonderful, distinguishing things about it. Oh, and that "dead end" thing totally metaphoric resonance I won't spoil for you.

Speaking of metaphor, here's another great one for you from the opening pages: Paradise Avenue bordered one end, and the ravine the other. Mo Wren's house was just in the middle, where a heart would be, had Fox Street been a person. The opening pages continue in this fashion.

We meet Mo's father, her sister, and then we learn: The wooden table was inscribed with dark hieroglyphicish slashes and crescents. Mo's mother had been an absentminded person, prone to forgetting things like setting a hot pad beneath a skillet or casserole dish. That might just be the loudest had I ever read.

The truth, Esteemed Reader, is that I don't really want to review this book so much as share with you little bits of the writing I so enjoyed.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Ewing on September 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I finished What Happened on Fox Street just in time to wrap it up for a niece's birthday...my eyes still stinging a little from the touching ending. Among all the interesting characters, I most loved Dottie, the wild little sister (being a little sister myself). She's almost Caliban-like, but without the truly evil streak; I've never run across a little girl like her in a book before, and she was fully believable.

Fox Street treats adult themes of loss and change with appropriate directness and subtlety at the same time. It has an admirably diverse cast of characters -- old and young, black and white. This would be a good choice for reading aloud to kids, say, eight and above, and for an adult/child book discussion group.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Young Mensan BookParade on January 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read the books "What Happened on Fox Street" and "Mo Wren, Lost and Found" by Tricia Springstubb and didn't want to put them down.

These books focus on a girl named Mo Wren facing big changes in her life. She is brave and has to take on huge responsibilities because her mom has died.

I think that the Mo Wren books are mostly for girls that are ages 8 - and at the oldest 13.

I also think that other kids would enjoy these books because you have to figure out things as the books go on. Problems Mo faces are difficult and made me think about how I would deal with the same problems.

I have some favorite parts in each book. In "What Happened on Fox Street," my favorite part was when Mo got to see her friend Mercedes again and spend the summer with her. In "Mo Wren, Lost and Found," my favorite part was when the family that moved into Mo's old house helped Mo and her sister with the grand opening of their restaurant when their dad had hurt his back very badly.

Mo Wren books are sure to make you think. Overall, I really liked these books and had a lot of fun reading them.

Review by Young Mensan Sophie, age 9
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lori Katz on December 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Please see above for full synopsis: Living on Fox Street reminds me of living in an apartment building growing up in New York City. Everyone knows everyone else and watches out for them too. Much happens this summer on Fox Street. Mo is always searching for signs of a fox in the ravine behind the house. The old lady across the street starts paying attention to the girls and dad receives an offer to sell his house. Halfway through the book I thought of "Because of Winn-Dixie," one of my favorite books. "What Happened on Fox Street" has many similarities, widowed dad, wonderful neighbors, a rainstorm and a lot of love. It is an emotional roller coaster ride inside a child's mind but an exhilarating one and a wonderful one. Though Mo and Dottie fight a lot, though the dad seems drowning in missing his wife, while Fox Street seems to be heading in a different direction in the future Tricia Springstubb works magic in making us root for Mo and her family and friends and trust in her that there will be happy (endings) beginnings for all. A great piece of contemporary literature especially for girls in grades 3 and up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristin Ohlson on December 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Hard for me to express how much I love this little book. The characters are as real as the kids down the street, and their feelings and questions about the world and secret obsessions also ring beautifully true. I also love the complicated relationships that the children have with the adults, who mean well but sometimes fail but are never portrayed as the grown-up dolts that permeate the movies and TV shows. I've given this book over and over as a gift-- I have a lot of nine-year old girls in my life-- and a friend who's a fourth grade teacher is having her class read it. It's a magical read for both kids and adults.
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