Book: Because of the Rabbit (2019)
Author: Cynthia Lord
Genre: MG, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Basic plot: Emma entering school for the very first time in fifth grade (after being homeschooled). As the new kid, she finds it tough to know where to fit in. She tries to make friends, but sometimes they’re friendly, sometimes not. And then there’s Jack. He doesn’t really fit in with their classmates either, but Emma’s not quite sure if she wants to be friends with him. But things begin to change when they bond over the rabbit Emma’s rescued.
1) As somebody who has been the “new kid” in various different schools, I completely got Emma! It’s hard when everybody else knows everybody and you just want a friend. I like how Emma reaches out. (One thing where we differ, she’s definitely not as shy as I was!) But she makes some errors, like the little lie about pickles. It was funny (for us as readers, not her as a character) how that comes back to bite her!
2) The rabbit part was interesting. I like how she and her dad rescue it at the beginning of the book, then it actually comes into the plot later on at school.
3) As Emma becomes more comfortable at the school, we get a good dilemma for her with regards to Jack. Jack’s definitely a little different from the other students. And Emma makes some not-so-kind decisions with regards to him (especially at the lunch table). But I like how Lord lets us see Emma’s struggle and eventually how Emma comes to embrace Jack as a friend.
4) Loved the little Monsieur Lapin stories. The grandfather’s voice came through, even though he’s not even a character in the book… And so it was.
5) I also really liked the relationship between Emma and her brother. In fact, it’s because of her brother that Emma decides she wants to go to school. I like how he helps her get her photos for her project with Jack.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) The part about the search for the owners of the rabbit felt a little off to me. Maybe a bit too cliche? Especially with how it ended. I guessed that’s what would happen. But maybe that’s just the adult-reader coming out in me.
My rating is 4 Stars (out of 5) – Another solid read from Cynthia Lord. I really enjoyed this one about rabbits and finding your place as the new kid in school. 🙂
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…