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Jenn Reese

JENN REESE (she/her) writes speculative fiction for readers of all ages. Her middle grade books include A Game of Fox & Squirrels (Henry Holt, April 2020) and the trilogy beginning with Above World (Candlewick), a finalist for the 2012 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy. Jenn’s short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Uncanny, and the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology Paper Cities, among others. Jenn lives in Portland, Oregon, where she works as a freelance graphic designer, plays video games, and delights in annoying her cats. For more information on her stories, novels, and adventures, visit www.jennreese.com.

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A Game of Fox & Squirrels: A moving allegory

A Game of Fox & Squirrels by Jenn Reese

11-year-old Samantha and her big sister have just arrived at their Aunt Vicky’s farm in Oregon. Samantha is not happy that the girls have been taken away from their parents and she wants to go home, even though her dad sometimes has a pretty bad temper. Aunt Vicky and her wife are clearly not prepared to take the girls in, but they do their best to make the sisters feel at home.

Aunt Vicky gives Samantha a game called The Game of Fox & Squirrels and one night, when Samantha is playing with it, the fox from the game visits her room. He’s charming and offers to give Samantha anything she wants if she can find the Golden Acorn. Samantha, who just wants to be back with her family in Los Angeles, is nervous about the challenge, but decides it’s the only way to get out of her current situation.

As Samantha attempts to complete her quest, various dangers arise ... Read More