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Book Bag

MEET JIMMY FOX

By Barbara Lucey

Gallery of Readers Press

www.galleryofreaders.org

William “Wicks” Sullivan is an 8-year-old boy living in Depression-era America who likes baseball and misses his dad, a railroad engineer who’s often gone for a week at a time. His buddies have given him his nickname because he has a little trouble pronouncing “l’s” — so when he asks about getting his licks in at the plate during baseball practice, it comes out as “wicks.”

But Wicks has something no one else has: a mysterious friend named Jimmy who has a bushy tail, red fur and pointed ears and walks on four legs. Jimmy is a most unusual fox — he can also speak, and he’s determined to be Wicks’ friend and help him in different ways, like making sure he gets his chance at batting practice, or finishing Wicks’ peas at dinner so the boy can leave the table and get to bed.

“Meet Jimmy Fox,” for early readers, is the work of Northampton writer Barbara Lucey and is published by Gallery of Readers Press in Northampton, a nonprofit venture by city writers and longtime writing workshop leaders Carol Edelstein and Robin Barber. It’s also the first in a series that Lucey is writing about the talking fox.

Lucey will celebrate the release of her book Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Holyoke Library and Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. at the Lilly Library in Florence.

THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF BLACKJACK and MEET THE MORGANS

By Ellen F. Feld

Willow Bend Publishing

www.willowbendpublishing.com

In one of Goshen author Ellen F. Feld’s previous children’s books about Morgan horses, Heather Richardson, a 15-year-old from western Massachusetts, visited a horse farm and discovered the literal horse of her dreams: Blackjack, a young stallion that looked exactly like the horse which had haunted Heather’s nights for weeks. The two formed a special bond that helped Heather develop into a promising rider.

Heather and Blackjack are back in Feld’s newest book, “The Further Adventures of Blackjack.” The two have had a fine show season and now have a chance to compete in the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show in Oklahoma. But paying for that long trip from New England won’t be cheap, and it may force Heather to make a difficult decision about another of her beloved horses.

Along the way, there will also be moments of humor, adventure and danger. A lot can happen during a four-day trip across the country with 15 frisky horses cramped in a horse van. And a trail ride that Blackjack and Heather take through the Oklahoma countryside before the big show turns ominous when the sky suddenly darkens and a tornado touches down.

In “Meet the Morgans,” Feld offers a picture book of the horses of her Goshen farm, the ones that have served as the inspiration for her Morgan horse fiction series, which now includes seven books for readers, ages 9 to 13. “Meet the Morgans” includes text and photos of the seven horses that star in the fictional series, as well as pictures of “Sidekicks” and “Future Stars” such as Feld’s ponies and dogs.

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