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Because of the Rabbit
Contributor(s): Lord, Cynthia
ISBN: 0545914248     ISBN-13: 9780545914246
Publisher: Scholastic Pr
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: March 2019
Annotation: On the last night of summer, Emma and her Maine game warden father rescue a small domestic rabbit stuck in a fence; the very next day Emma starts fifth grade after years of being home schooled, excited and apprehensive about making new friends, but she is paired with Jack, a hyperactive boy, who does not seem to fit in with anyone--except that they share a love of animals, which draws them together, because of the rabbit.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Rabbits; Juvenile fiction.
Schools; Juvenile fiction.
Home schooling; Juvenile fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Rabbits
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Friendship
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Special Needs
Dewey: 813.6
LCCN: 2018046393
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.50" W x 0.50" (0.65 lbs) 183 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):
Cynthia Lord is the award-winning author of Rules, a Newbery Honor Book and a Schneider Family Book Award winner, as well as the critically acclaimed Half a Chance and A Handful of Stars. She made her picture-book debut with Hot Rod Hamster, which won several awards, including the Parents' Choice Award, and is the author of the Shelter Pet Squad chapter book series. She lives in Maine with her family. Visit her at

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2019 #2)
Homeschooled all her life, Emma fluctuates between feeling scared and excited the night before starting fifth grade at a traditional school. An unexpected rescue trip with her father, a Maine game warden, is a good distraction, and Emma ends up bonding with a lost domesticated rabbit she names Monsieur Lapin (after the trickster tales her Québécois grandparents used to tell). Her first day at school turns out badly: everyone already has a friend group, classes feel regimented, and lunch in the cafeteria is a disaster. Complicating matters is Jack, a boy in her class with special needs, with whom she has a lot in common but whom she doesn't treat as a real friend possibility. When a less-than-welcoming classmate tells Emma that Monsieur Lapin might belong to her neighbor, Emma must come to terms with the fact that having a friend—either human or animal—means taking the time to consider others' wants and needs. The interpersonal drama at school sorts itself out rather too quickly and neatly, but Emma's anxiety about social dynamics and her close relationship with her parents and devoted older brother are well drawn. Facts about pet rabbits divide chapters and provide broader meanings to contemplate within the context of the story ("Rabbits have a blind spot in front of their nose. It's the only place they can't see"). julie roach March/April 2019 p 86 Copyright 2019 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 December #4)

"Anything is possible with rabbits," Emma muses presciently as she and her game warden father rescue a distressed rabbit that she's allowed to keep. But it's the bunny that rescues Emma, who's beginning fifth grade at a Maine public school after being homeschooled. She's worried that no one there will need a new friend, and Owen, her older brother and soulmate, exacerbates things by becoming preoccupied with his new friends. In a characteristically articulate observation, Emma notes, "I'd been carrying a hole inside me since Owen went off to school last year and this little rabbit had jumped right into that hole and made himself at home." Her new pet (Lapi, short for Monsieur Lapin, a character from tales her beloved late grandfather shared) also fills an emotional void when her friend-making gets off to a slow start—and then helps her connect with classmates, primarily a boy who seems to be on the autism spectrum, as she learns the rewards of patience and understanding the perspectives of others. Newbery Honor author Lord (Rules) offers a note detailing her personal inspirations for this insightful story—lucidly written from the heart. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2019 March)

Gr 3–7—Emma has been homeschooled and is now ready to follow in her big brother Owen's footsteps and try public school. She is torn between being excited and scared. After all, fifth grade will be hard enough without having to worry if she will fit in or make friends. When Ms. Hutton assigns a group project, "Two Truths and a Lie," as a way for the students to get to know each other, Emma decides this will be her chance to become friends with Jack, Iris, and Leah. Jack ends up being her partner and though he is loud and somewhat different, he bonds with Emma over Monsieur Lapin, the honey-colored rescue rabbit she and her game warden father are fostering. Lord's characters are true to life and readers will surely see themselves in one of them. VERDICT A timely story which hits on current social issues in an honest and believable manner.—Martha Rico, El Paso ISD, TX

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.