The synopsis. Summary. Encapsulation. It’s what goes to agents, and what appears on the book’s marketing flap. And it’s what I like to read over and over as I sit here on the edge of the road where I saw it all happen.
Because of Winn Dixie meets Fly Away Home when a unique mailbox bears witness to a race against time, slightly post-pandemic, in a historically-complicated place known as Slow Duck Crossing. This complete middle-grade manuscript features an ensemble of diverse characters who strive to be heard while learning indelible lessons about friendship; trust; ambition; and both personal and collective power.
Ten-year-old Moxie, who was born as her mother died, wants — needs — to save ducklings that are sure to be killed if construction of a new development starts too soon. She hatches a plan that may save everything — the ducks, her patched-together family, and the future of Slow Duck Crossing itself. Moxie braves coyotes, a city councilor driven to destroy all memories of the past, and the raging river of change. Can this small girl with gumption, resilience and ingenuity convince a city there’s a new way forward? Can historical wounds — to a land, to a family — ever be healed?
In the meantime, Moxie’s bike-fixing sixteen-year-old sibling, her on-the-brink-of-a-new-beginning grandmother, and their beloved mail carrier each face their own moments of truth, and tragedy. Finally, a surprise visitor from their past challenges this family to learn what forgiveness really means, which frees them to pave a new way forward.
Slow Duck Crossing* invites you into a surprisingly fast-paced story with as many twists and turns as the river where it’s set. Come spend some time in a place you’ll quickly grow to love, with people, guinea hens, coyotes, ducks (of course)— and a mailbox poet — that you’ll never forget.
*inspired by a real location in the number-one place in the world for movie-making