Books for Children / Middle Grade Fiction

Leila and the Blue Fox

By Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Author), Tom de Freston (Illustrator)


Pub Date 4/2/2024

ISBN 9781454954347

Format Hardcover, Jacketed



Leila and the Blue Fox

by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Tom de Freston
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Weeks pass,
to her they are nameless,
they are fading and growing light,
the warming of weather.
On this day, she wakes,
and begins to walk.

It’s a summer of firsts for twelve-year-old Leila: her first time traveling alone, first time apart from Amma and her cousin Mona, and first time seeing her mother, a climate scientist in Norway, since war forced their family from Syria six years ago.

Together, Leila and her mother’s research team follow the migration of a tiny Arctic fox, Miso, across ice floes and international borders, hopeful the midnight sun will illuminate how to adapt to a constantly changing world.

The Arctic Circle is nothing like Leila has ever imagined—so bright and brutal and undeniably wild. It tests her in every way: her understanding of home and what it means to belong, her determination to do what’s right, and her belief in how much is possible in even the most impossible of situations.

Inspired by an Arctic fox’s real 2,000-mile trek across continents, Miso's and Leila’s entwined journeys offer hope in the face of an uncertain future and reinforce that even the smallest voices can make the biggest impact.
“[Leila’s] inner turmoil is thoughtfully woven into the unexpected adventure ahead of her . . . . Frston’s cyan-toned, mixed-media artwork [captures] the vast icy environs. Without being heavy-handed, Hargrave folds into observations about climate change and draws parallels between animal and human migrations. Fans of creators’ Julia and the Shark will happily find a similar reading experience in this character-driven Arctic adventure.”—Booklist

"This novel lightly, compassionately, and subtly prompts reflection on the interconnectedness of all beings as we navigate life’s challenges and the importance of sharing stories and transcending borders. A reverent, wondrous feast for the senses and a balm for bruised souls."—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW


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Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Tom de Freston met in 2009, when Kiran was a student and Tom was artist-in-residence at Cambridge University. They have been a couple and collaborators ever since, with Leila and the Blue Fox as the follow-up to their Barnes & Noble Children's Prize shortlisted Julia and the Shark. Kiran is the award-winning, bestselling author of stories including The Girl of Ink & StarsThe Way Past Winter, and The Deathless Girls, and Tom is an acclaimed illustrator, having worked as an artist for many years. They live in Oxford, UK, with their two cats and their daughter.

Title Details

Pages 256 pages, all in 2-color

Trim 6 x 8.5 x 0 Inches

Territories US/Can

Category Middle Grade Fiction

Age Range 10 and up

Carton Quantity 18

Julia and the Shark

Julia and the Shark