Y is for You and Young Black Tip



Yes, I’m being facetious again, but I want to use the Y post to talk about the reader’s influence on the book. There are millions of reviews of millions of books and one can be as different from the next as night and day. Ideology, which is basically what forms every opinion and thought in your head and while it can be applied to communities in broad brushstrokes it is never exactly the same from person to person.

For example: I am a white female in my late 20’s I am single and a pet owner and I like reading. Thus Facebook, which doesn’t monitor my actual buying habits in the same way Amazon does, flings romance titles at me like they’re going out of fashion, when I’d actually rather eat my own eyeballs than read them.

The reason you’re reading can also change how you think about a book. Are you reading it because you wanted to read it, are you reading it because someone recommended it or are you reading it because you have to? Are you a contemporary reader? I know I recently had to get over the use of highly racist language in a book written forty years ago before I could really pay attention to the story.

So that’s why I added ‘you’. In every book you pick up, you are unintentionally a character, putting your own ideas and wants and dreams into the story. Every time you mutter ‘that wasn’t supposed to happen’ you’re becoming a part of the book, and isn’t that the best bit.


When I was eight I ran out of books to read in my age bracket, so I was allowed to go up to the older kids’ (10-12) library section in the school. I chose two books, ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ by Arthur Conan Doyle and ‘Run Swift, Run Free’ by Tom McCaughren.

‘Run Swift, Run Free’ is the third story in McCaughren’s ‘Fox Series’ but the first I read. It tells the story of five fox cubs – Young Black Tip and his sister Little Running Fox, and their friends, Twinkle and brothers Scat and Scab – and how they spend the summer learning how to hunt and fend for themselves.

Young Black Tip – named for his shared black, rather than white, tail tip with his father, Black Tip – is the largest and strongest of the cubs. He starts as a cocky, self-assured and bold cub, who believes he knows far more and can do far more than an old, blind fox. The blind fox, Old Sage Brush, teaches them to use all their senses and talents – from fishing with their tails, to how to read signs of nature and how to navigate through a bog – and eventually Young Black Tip accepts that the old fox knows best.

Ultimately he turns from a cocky and rash young cub, into an intelligent and patient adult dog fox with all the necessary traits to survive the natural and human world.


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