Because of the Rabbit
On the last night of summer, Emma tags along with her game warden father on a routine call. They're supposed to rescue a wild rabbit from a picket fence, but instead they find a little bunny. Emma convinces her father to bring him home for the night.
The next day, Emma starts public school for the very first time after years of being homeschooled. More than anything, Emma wants to make a best friend in school.
But things don't go as planned. On the first day of school, she's paired with a boy named Jack for a project. He can't stay on topic, he speaks out of turn, and he's obsessed with animals. Jack doesn't fit in, and Emma's worried he'll make her stand out.
Emma and Jack bond over her rescue rabbit. But will their new friendship keep Emma from finding the new best friend she's meant to have?
Newbery Honor-winning author Cynthia Lord has written a beautiful and sensitive book about being different and staying true to yourself.
Emma's struggles are very realistic and dear to the heart of middle grade readers, who like problem novels that make them feel like their own life is easier. Lord has a good feel for just the right level of problem, and Emma solves her difficulties in constructive ways.
Lord uses her own personal background to good effect in this latest book. Her son is on the autism spectrum, she homeschooled her children, and the family fostered rabbits. She consulted with her daughter about the difficulties she faced when entering public school, so this is very effective.