Because of the Rabbit


Newbery Honor-winning author Cynthia Lord has written a sensitive and accessible book about the challenges of fitting in when you know you're a little different.

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.--from the publisher

192 pages                 978-0545914246                  Ages 8-12

Keywords:  animals, animal rescue, rabbits, friendship, getting along, friends, acceptance, accepting others, fathers/daughters, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old, school issues


The night before school is going to start Emma's father gets a phone call asking him to come out to save a rabbit that is stuck in a fence in someone's yard. Emma talks her father into letting her come along and when the two arrive at the house, they discover the rabbit isn't some wild creature. It looks more like someone's pet who might be lost.

Emma and her father take the rabbit back to their home and make it comfortable for the night. Comfortable for a very special night actually because tomorrow, Emma who has always been homeschooled, is going to start public school for the first time in her life. She's excited to go because public school means she will finally find a best friend. She will finally have someone to share things with, to laugh with, to be a girl with.

Things don't quite go as planned as you can well imagine. Things start off with an ice breaker where the teacher assigns groups of three and everyone has to come up with Two Truths and a Lie. Emma figures this is her chance to get to know some girls and maybe, just maybe, one of them will be the right one. Things start off well and proceed directly down hill to be followed by lunch in the cafeteria where the only person who comes to sit with her is Jack, one of the kids who was in her Two Truths and a Lie group.

Emma gets assigned to work on a school project with Jack. He's different from the other kids but as Emma gets to know him she learns to see him with all of his sensitivity and humor.

So now the tricky stuff starts to happen. You know those icky little feelings you get about whether you'll be accepted and included and made to feel you belong? You know how maybe you don't want to be seen with someone who obviously isn't accepted and included and made to feel they belong?

Let's see what magic a rabbit really holds.

Recommended by: Barb Langridge,

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