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The Rabbit's Gift

A delicate balance exists between the humans who long for babies and the Angora Roux rabbits who cultivate them. In exchange for bunches of purple carrots, the Angora Roux bring Chou incubators to waiting human parents who are ready to welcome a child. But when the balance shifts and the rabbits are no longer receiving adequate compensation for their important work, the precarious relationship begins to crumble. And the question arises: will a human girl and an Angora Roux be able to see past their differences to reconcile the challenges they face before it is too late?

This heartfelt story is told from two perspectives: one human, one Angora Roux. Both characters are the heroes of their own stories, but each of their behavior adversely affects the other as the story progresses. Readers are immersed in a world over which the Great Maman presides, where humans and nature must work harmoniously together in order to survive. Carefully crafted details make this setting come alive, and readers will find themselves in a curious blend of Alice in Wonderland and King Louis XIV’s France, all under a unique and fantastic umbrella. Utilizing a blend of both real and creatively fictional French words, this story takes a familiar French term of endearment—mon petit chou—to a charming and unexpected destination.

While this story is a companion to The Wolf’s Curse, it is a standalone novel that readers can enjoy in any order. Many moments of the narrative are connected to events happening in the real world, from conflicts over goods and services to religious beliefs to the treatment of nature. On its surface, this book tells a fantastic interpretation of how human babies are made; beneath that, it is a guide for readers to look past their individual experiences to spend time walking in others’ shoes. Only by empathizing with others will humans gain the perspective necessary to make the changes that will protect the Earth in the long term. Middle grade readers will appreciate the footnotes peppered throughout the book that provide greater context for the story, and the lengthy chapters will especially appeal to more confident readers who enjoy immersive tales. This is a thought-provoking title to include in library collections for middle grade readers.

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