BookBrowse Reviews The Second Life of Abigail Walker by Frances O'Roark Dowell

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The Second Life of Abigail Walker

by Frances O'Roark Dowell

The Second Life of Abigail Walker
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2012, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2013, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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A multi-layered examination of friendship, self-esteem, and the pathways to a happy, hopeful life for middle graders and adults alike

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

-Wendell Berry from Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

The Second Life of Abigail Walker begins with this epitaph, an excerpt from one of Wendell Berry's poems (see "Beyond the Book"), and the first character we encounter in the story is, in fact, a fox. She is not an ordinary one, though. She is magical, has been in many places over many times, and is one who has witnessed many stories unfold. This time she makes an appearance in Abby Walker's story.

Abby, who is in sixth grade, wants to be just average and blend in. She is desperately trying to fit in with the "medium" girls. Medium smart, medium tall, medium ability at sports. But when she doesn't agree with a nasty comment the ringleader of the "mediums" makes, she is cast out once and for all.

This is a ...

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