The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle
by Victoria Williamson
Reema runs to remember the life she left behind in Syria.
Caylin runs to find what she's lost.
Under the grey Glasgow skies, twelve-year-old refugee Reema is struggling to find her place in a new country, with a new language and without her brother. But she isn't the only one feeling lost. Her Glasgwegian neighbour Caylin is lonely and lashing out.
When they discover an injured fox and her cubs hiding on their estate, the girls form a wary friendship. And they are more alike than they could have imagined: they both love to run.
As Reema and Caylin learn to believe again, in themselves and in others, they find friendship, freedom and the discovery that home isn't a place, it's the people you love.
Heartfelt and full of hope, The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle is an uplifting story about the power of friendship and belonging. Inspired by her work with young asylum seekers, debut novelist Victoria Williamson's stunning story of displacement and discovery will speak to anyone who has ever asked 'where do I belong?'
Recommended for 10-12 years old.
Softcover, 272 pages. 198 x 130 mm.
Floris Books, 2018.
'. . .
'This is the most wonderful story of survival, courage, and a developing friendship between two very different girls... Woven over the ''issues'' is a terrific story of a developing friendship, and by the final chapters I was on the edge of my seat and breathless to find out how the various strands of the narrative would end... A must-have.'
-- View From the Bookshelves
'Victoria shapes her story chapter by chapter like cleaving, sawing, bruting and polishing a rough diamond. Every chapter outshines the previous one. Please don't miss The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle... A very special book by a very special person who embraces cultures and beliefs that are not hers and most importantly has chosen to give voice to the vulnerable through her debut children's novel.'
-- Books and Beyond
'A really nice story of friendship, belonging, freedom, and hope. Very well done.'
-- Reading by the Pond
'Williamson allows readers to quickly relate to both white Glaswegian Caylin and Syrian-immigrant Reema, seeing in them reflections of the many problems children face around the world today. Her writing is culturally sensitive […] With her two characters, Williamson movingly makes it clear that working-class solidarity traverses borders, race, ethnicity, and religion.' (Fiction. 10-15)
-- Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
'This story is a delightfully nuanced, diverse, thoughtful and even fun/cute story of friendship and learning to be a good person. The ending works with the rest of the feel-good story. Really great for anyone who loves a great story of friendship.'
-- Youth Services Book Review, starred review
'I was really impressed with this novel and taken on quite an emotional ride throughout the course of it. [This] is a story of friendship and of the healing that it can bring and it is definitely one worth reading.'
-- NetGalley Reviewer
'Compelling and beautiful.'
-- The Book Search, blog
'Relevant, moving and quite extraordinary.'
-- Lucy Coates, author of the Beasts of Olympus series
'A touching, thought-provoking adventure.'
-- The Bookseller
'Beautifully written, touching and inspiring.'
-- Nikki Sheehan, twice-nominated Carnegie author of Swan Boy and Goodnight, Boy
'An essential read in today's political climate.'
-- Lu Hersey, Mslexia Children's Book Award-winning author of Deep Water
'A wonderful melding of cultures -- beautiful.'
-- Claire McFall, twice winner of the Scottish Teen Book Award for Ferryman and Black Cairn Point
'A well-crafted, sensitively drawn debut.'
-- Rachel Hamilton, author of Louie Lets Loose
'I can't imagine a more important or inspiring message to convey in a book right now.'
-- Eloise Williams, author of Gaslight, 2017 Wales Arts Review's Children's Book of the Year
'This is a beautiful story… I was totally captivated… I just loved it and it needs to be in every primary and secondary school library.'
-- Book Lover Jo, book blogger
'[A] touching story of hope and friendship… an inspiring and moving debut novel which I would recommend for readers of 9+.'
' Difficult themes (war, death, bigotry, alcoholism, bullying) are treated honestly, in a manner appropriate for the… target age (10-12). It's a moving story told in alternating perspectives…’
-- Monika Durbin, Edelweiss
'An inherently entertaining and compelling read from first page to last, 'The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle' will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to elementary school and community library General Fiction collections for young readers ages 10 to 12.'
-- Midwest Book Review
'An exciting story about new families, new friends and new starts. It shows that ‘home’ can mean lots of different things to different people.'
-- Scoop magazine
'The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle is moving and life-affirming and full of hope and friendship. I loved it. Reema and Caylin are nuanced, believable lead characters who you root for from the start.'
-- Get Kids into Books blog
About the Author
Victoria Williamson is a primary school teacher with a Master's degree in special needs education. She has worked as a science teacher and teacher trainer in Cameroon and Malawi, an English as a foreign language teacher in China, and as a special needs teacher in the UK. Victoria's experiences teaching young children in a school where many families were seeking asylum, inspired her debut novel, The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle, an uplifting tale of friendship between Glasgow girl Caylin and Syrian refugee Reema.