From Hill Country Farm

Fiction - Adventure
102 Pages
Reviewed on 03/17/2021
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Author Biography

John C. Hill is a retired IT Support and Troubleshooting Professional. John now lives on a farm tending the different kinds of farm fowl animals that live there. Challenges now of a different sort a hobby farm brings. Seems like everything tries to snatch our chickens.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In FoxHide by John C Hill, a family of foxes has just moved into their new home after their previous den was destroyed by Hurricane Cleo. The name on their mailbox is Hyde and they live at the base of a giant cypress tree in the forest. Follow their adventures as they settle into their new environment and learn the importance of caring for one another and respecting the feelings of others. Along the way, they meet some interesting characters, such as NutraRat, Bubba Buzzard, and the dangerous HoundDawgs and coyotes. As the family tries to survive, they discover that not everyone has a kind nature and sometimes there are animals that wish to cause them harm, especially Humans. But the Hyde family also teaches us how we can all live in harmony as nature intended.

FoxHide by John C Hill is an enchanting story that will encourage children's love and understanding of nature. It was wonderful to see the world through the eyes of these beautiful creatures, their views on humans and why they need to hunt. The characters were all very interesting and each contributed to the plot perfectly. One of my particular favorites was DaddyFox with his quirky ways such as getting rid of fleas and making them feel like 'like a hot potato'. I also loved the wily nature and intelligence of Strike. The story is filled with important life lessons that will help children's development and confidence greatly. They will learn how to see mistakes as opportunities for learning, how to emulate successful people, that parents make rules and boundaries to keep you safe, and that for every action there are good or bad consequences. There are many emotional moments, such as the event involving Frizzle which was incredibly moving, but also many funny moments. A wonderful story that is engaging and heartwarming.

Peggy Jo Wipf

FoxHide: From HillCountry Farm by John C. Hill is a whimsical read that gives the reader a closer look at a fox family that has more going for them than the average forest animal. In the midst of Hurricane Cleo, three Cajun foxes were born. Strike, Pawz, and BoomBoom are unusually intelligent, curious, and adventurous fox kits. Their shenanigans keep the story moving as they learn valuable life lessons like staying away from the farmer's traps. The love that their parents have for each other is the foundation of their young lives as the family begins the center of their learning. This story is told by the middle kit, Pawz. He is proud of his understanding of sounds and his ability to spell a word in many different ways.

I found FoxHide fanciful and quirky as John C. Hill adds a poetic premise to his fox story. The fox characters are unique in their thoughts and abilities, making each a colorful addition to the plot. The pace is easy as the author draws a mental picture of their exploits and skirmishes. The lessons learned by these adorable animals are humorous. My favorite lesson Pawz learned from a horse was how to get rid of fleas. Not necessarily a lesson humans need to know, but to a young fox who hates the itching, this was interesting. Overall, I enjoyed this story with a lyrical feel as Hill expresses the lifetime trivia that happens in the den of foxes. It isn't always easy, but they look for fun in everything they do.

Jon Michael Miller

FoxHide by John C. Hill is brilliant and highly challenging. Mr. Hill tells us upfront, with his tongue tucked in his cheek, that his story has nothing to do with humans. It’s not true, of course. But his message to the reader is to proceed with a child’s joy in the pleasure of pure language. It’s written in the first person from the point of view of a young fox named Pawz, and his family, the Hydes. The date is 1964, and Pawz is born into a litter of three during Hurricane Cleo. The story is pure whimsy yet is clearly written with a knowledge of real foxes. But that knowledge is lifted into the breeze in wordplay and charm. Anyone who reads this must be drawn to eccentricity and humor and must be prepared to take the time to enjoy the stylistics more than any plot or profound philosophical epiphanies. Yet, surrounded by Mr. Hill’s innovative and lighthearted presentation, I’m sure meaning can be gleaned and will be worth the effort.

I thought FoxHide by John C. Hill might be written for children, but few children will be able to get through it without an adult’s help. Hill has great energy and seems to delight in the cleverness he employs in vocabulary, stylistics, and poetic expression. There are no drawings or illustrations to engage a child. Mr. Hill exploits the possibilities of many words and concepts like the word “paw” and the concept of conscience. And I learned a lot about the daily life of foxes in this highly playful and literary presentation. For someone who enjoys matching wits with a writer and who loves the pure joy of language and who is intrigued by the struggles and dangers animals face both in nature and from living close to humans, FoxHide by John C. Hill will be challenging and rewarding.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

A blinding stroke of lightning, a silent pause, followed by a resounding clap of thunder - three baby foxes came into this world in three consecutive seconds. The parents named them accordingly Strike, Pawz, and BoomBoom. The trio grows up together, running among the trees and bushes, sometimes venturing into the coyote territory or provoking the hound dogs into chasing them. They devise new ways of hunting, make alliances, and desperately try to remedy a chronic flea infestation. All the while, they have to be careful so as not to cross paths with a human, who would love nothing better than to make fur coats out of their lush hides. John C. Hill’s book, Foxhide: From HillCountry Farm, provides us sneak peeks into the wild lives of this fox family.

This whimsical and bizarre tale takes readers into the heart of nature where we meet many animal characters. Pawz, being the narrator, introduces his family and friends humorously. Their offbeat names and quirky characters make the read engaging. The subtle anthropomorphism employed by John C. Hill enhances the humor, granting us several laugh-out-loud moments throughout the book. The foxes are clever and mischievous yet good-hearted, attributes that define a unique “foxiness.” Pawz’s daring escapades, curious investigations, and near-death experiences had me engrossed the entire time. I would recommend this book not only to young readers but also to adults who appreciate a laugh. All in all, Foxhide: From HillCountry Farm is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining books I have ever read.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

A family of foxes is really just like any other family. They live together, eat and sleep together, work together and play together. They even play tricks on one another – and the hound dogs at the farm who are trained to track them. The three young foxes learn from their parents how to track, how to stay safe, and even how to read and write (because that’s an important learning tool for all young critters). When out and about in the forest, they certainly have their adventures. But those adventures don’t end in the forest; the adventures continue in the den, where MommaFox and DaddyFox care for the young ones and the elders, as well as play-act to entertain each other.

John C. Hill’s middle-grade novel, FoxHide: From HillCountry Farm, is a charming, sweet story about a family of foxes. You’ll think you’ve followed Alice into Wonderland as you read this story. The plot develops slowly and meticulously as the reader follows the fox family’s daily adventures. There are some humorous parts when the foxes outsmart (or is it outfox) the hound dogs and make a great escape, and some serious parts where sibling rivalry echoes similar rivalries amongst all the species. The story is told in a first-person narrative, from PawZ, the middle fox’s point of view. The fox characters are well developed and the interactions between the family members will certainly have the young reader chuckling along with their antics. The important moral of this story is the family bond and the love they share as they work hard, caring for one another.

Mamta Madhavan

FoxHide: From HillCountry Farm by John C. Hill will take readers on a fascinating journey of fox adventures and their life in the forest which not too many readers know about. The book makes readers understand how a fox can do anything he wants to do when he wants to do it, and he can be anything he wants to be when he wants to be it. The book speaks about how a little girl fell asleep one day and she dreamed of chasing a rabbit down a rabbit hole. Readers can imagine chasing a bushy fox tail and then coming upon a family of red-tailed, white-tipped foxes, and according to their mailbox, Hyde is their name. Their fox den is at the base of a huge cypress tree with a door, windows, a kitchen, bedrooms, and such. This band of lovable foxes will take readers into a world of their own and teach them life lessons and give good insights into life.

I liked FoxHide: From HillCountry Farm by John C. Hill immensely for the very fact that it teaches readers valuable lessons in a unique, entertaining and different way. There is something very endearing about the fox characters in the story. The narration is engaging and there is never a dull moment as readers find the story moving at a good pace. It is interesting to note how the foxes care for each other in the forest and also how they live. The characters in the story are well-sketched and memorable to readers. The story is a good way to help readers comprehend life in a better way, how to navigate around the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, and to figure things out for themselves in life by showing how these animals live and love.

Samantha Gregory

Foxhide: From HillCountry Farm by John C Hill is the story of a fox from the Hyde family called Pawz who lives in the bayou. He tells the story of what it is like to be a fox and of his family and the night he and his brothers were born during Hurricane Cleo. Pawz is the middle child and his two brothers are called Strike and Boomboom, after the storm that hit when they were being born. The family lives happily together in their den, relying on each other and they even have their own special language. They have many adventures together including taking on the Hounddawgs as they attempt to snag a chicken to eat. They also face the difficulty of dealing with horrible fleas who constantly bite them. There are many things to avoid in the world, including human traps, but the Hyde fox family sticks together and works as a team.

John C Hill has created a charming story with Foxhide: From HillCountry Farm. The story is interesting, entertaining and I think children would love it. The story takes you on a journey, showing what it would be like to be a fox while telling a fun story. I think it would be great if they had illustrations for it, but the story is well written, with a lyrical feel to it and I believe it would appeal to the 7-10 age group. I would definitely recommend it. I think it could do well on the market, particularly with animal lovers.

Tammy Ruggles

FoxHide: From HillCountry Farm by John C Hill is an emotionally engaging adventure about a family of foxes. The author invites you into the sometimes secret world of foxes--but not so secret if you take the time to observe and immerse yourself in their ways. You'll be charmed and informed as you follow Hill's lead into the land of the fox. The language of this story is sometimes rhythmic and bouncy, sometimes subdued and observational, which could remind you of the behavior of a fox in some ways. This is a book purely about the fox for animal lovers and for those wanting a breath of fresh air from their worries and their cares.

Hill crafts an ode to the fox that is reminiscent of a Dr. Seuss narration, full of life, insights, and takeaways. As the nature of the fox is described by the author, comparisons to humans could be made, even though this book isn't necessarily about humans--or is it? Besides being at one with the fox, you'll also get an inside feel for what it means to be an animal in general, at least from the author's perspective. Using the fox as an analogy, you'll learn what it means to be hunted and fear for your hide and develop craftiness, because humans want to wear it as a fur coat. You'll learn about the languages foxes speak: FoxNess. FoxNess-Not, and FoxDoux. Playful, allegorical, and unique language is used by the author to get his points across, and you'll meet a few other animals that the foxes interact with, like NutraRat, and a horse. This work about foxes can be interpreted on different levels but is a great way to relax and enjoy a piece of literature. If you're looking for something different and enlightening, FoxHide: From HillCountry Farm by John C Hill should be high on your to-read list.

Trisha Dawn

John C Hill’s FoxHide is a delightful story about a family of foxes and their exciting adventures. From the moment the three kits were born, their adventures with MommaFox and DaddyFox were all but dull. Strike, Pawz, and Boomboom had numerous fun days! However, there were also days when these three little kits were having normal everyday troubles, such as getting rid of the fleas from their fur. Come and laugh along with this beautiful family of foxes as they go on different adventures and learn various life lessons along the way.

FoxHide by John C Hill is a unique and whimsical story filled with exciting adventures. There is never a dull moment. From the very first page of the book, the kits were very rambunctious and got into all sorts of fun and trouble. Each character in the story has a distinctive personality that made a significant impact on me and made the story so much more exciting to read. Pawz was a smart and witty fox and I adored his positive mindset. Even when he was being labeled as a fox who couldn’t spell, he turned this situation into something positive: by creating words with new meanings.

MommaFox and DaddyFox’s romantic moments were heart-warming and I couldn’t help but smile as I read through such charming scenes. Their family was full of happiness and their story was filled with endearing moments that young readers, and even adults, will surely love. This fun story made me wonder whether or not foxes are really this silly and if they really do have these amusing adventures with their families every day. Overall. FoxHide is an exceptional and well-written story. Well done!

Daniel D Staats

FoxHide: From Hill Country Farm by John C Hill is an interesting and intriguing book. You need to get into the book to understand it. As you begin to read about the Hyde fox family, you may struggle with the way it is written. It reminds me a little of Seuss mixed with jibber-jabber. Then I noticed that is just the way foxes talk. Once you get into the book, you start to enjoy it. You start noticing nuggets of truth that you can take away with you. The adventures are interesting, and you can almost see Pawz, the narrator, as he learns about life as a fox. This is a fun book about foxes that teaches us about human ways. The spelling is explained by Pawz, but it is easy to understand the words although some are misspelled.

John C Hill writes as if he is Pawz. He has transformed himself into a fox and tells his story as if it is his memoirs. I often thought that he was telling about his young life as a human through the eyes of a fox kit. One term you may not be used to, especially if you are not from LA, is NutraRat. I am sure he is referring to the large rodents from South America that are invading Louisiana. The interactions among the various characters ring true to life. The only thing I could not figure was the intended audience for this book: adults, teens, or children. I think all different ages will like it. The parent who chooses to read FoxHide: From Hill Country Farm to their children will enjoy it as much as their children will.

Edith Wairimu

FoxHide: From HillCountry Farm by John C Hill is a fun young adult story that details the experiences of a lively fox family. On a stormy night, three fox cubs are born into the Hyde fox family. Strike, the oldest of the cubs, is a sly fox who uses cunning tricks to hunt rabbits. True to his name, BoomBoom, who is the lastborn of the brothers, is the agitator in the family and loves whining when he does not get what he wants. Pawz, the narrator, is secretive and curious. He loves learning new things and planning new adventures. Surrounded by many forms of danger including coyotes, hound dogs, hurricanes, cruel humans who hunt foxes for their hides, and the incessant biting from ravenous fleas, the foxes' lives are not always smooth sailing. But there are also many amazing solo and family experiences and places for Pawz to explore.

John C Hill's imaginative and witty storytelling creates well-rounded characters in FoxHide that readers will enjoy. The foxes in the story are differentiated by their traits. The first-person narration placed me right in the middle of the events and reading the book felt like I was a participant in Pawz’s escapades. The book is filled with many exhilarating scenes and every page covers a new adventure that ranges from run-ins with coyotes and dangerous hound dogs to pigeon-hunting and finding a remedy for flea bites. Including animated music and dance performances and sometimes heated sibling rivalry, the Hyde family’s experiences also add exciting scenes in the story. Minor characters are equally interesting. FoxHide: From HillCountry Farm by John C Hill is a creative, heart-warming story full of many adventures that adult and young readers will love.

Kristine Zimmerman

FoxHide: From Hill Country Farm by John C. Hill is a story about a family of foxes. We are introduced to the three brothers on the night of their birth during a hurricane. Their names reflect that event; Strike, Pawz, and Boom Boom. Pawz becomes our narrator and shares the often-harrowing adventures he and his family engage in. Many stories are told, from the challenge of snatching a meal to the narrow escapes from humans and other predators. Then there are always the fleas, or as Pawz likes to spell it, Flees, to contend with. Woven throughout the story are the many ways other animals must deal with those pesky things. Through careful observation and some smart thinking, Pawz may have just found a way to deal with them.

John C. Hill has written a charming anthropomorphic story about the lives of a family of foxes. FoxHide is a lot like life, a series of adventures, some good and some bad. I enjoyed envisioning the world of Pawz and his family - the huge cypress tree that contains their den, the concrete frog pond, the coyote ravine, and the humans' house and farm. In addition to the fox family, we also get to know some of the other forest creatures that they interact with, like SlitherChameleon and NutraRat. I enjoyed the relationship between Pawz and NutraRat and learned a few things about NutraRats as well. If you enjoy animal stories written in a whimsical, stream-of-consciousness way, then you need to read FoxHide.

Donna Parrey

FoxHide by John C. Hill is billed as a Young Adult adventure book, and I suppose that’s as accurate a label as any. The narrator is a red fox named Pawz with a lot going on in that “can between [his] ears.” Pawz regales us with stories about life and survival in and out of the family den with his MommaFox, DaddyFox, and brothers, Strike and BoomBoom. We meet friends and enemies – NutraRat, squirrels, pigeons, slithers, HoundDawgs, and more “flees” than anyone would want to have on their hide. And we learn a whole lot about foxiness along the way. From the birth of the three kits during a raging Hurricane Cleo to full moon FoxyFriday nights and SaturDayPlay to a clever G-rated description of fox-on-fox “dancing,” readers are swept along with Pawz.

FoxHide is one hundred pages of prose, with no chapters to break the action. Enter this realm and abandon all thoughts of experiencing ordinary literature. Author John C. Hill takes us here, there, and way over there. You’ll become comfortable with Hill’s irreverent use of uppercase letters in the middle of words, odd spellings, and sentence fragments. And you won’t let yourself stop reading. U will C. Hill describes the electricity of the hurricane with “Their whiskers were popping like static being released from a wool blanket as it is being pulled from the laundry dryer.” DaddyFox tells his sons he will introduce them to the “…sound of music, sweet music, chocolate in your MommaFox’s ears.” The details of Pawz’s adventures are so vivid they may actually have been written by a fox, blessed with FoxNess – or by a very sly, observant human.

Joy Hannabass

FoxHide: From Hill Country by John C Hill is a unique story of a family of foxes as they live their life in the middle of a big forest. Once in that forest, in the middle of a horrible hurricane, three cute little fox kits, BoomBoom, Pawz, and Strike, were born to Mama and Papafox. But this little fox family survived, and this is their story, as told by their very own fox kit Pawz, who is the middle kit, who just might think he has what it takes.

I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet fox family story. Strike, Pawz, and BoomBoom and their mischievous misbehavior were enough to keep my attention throughout the story. They like to play on the edge, going just far enough out not to get hurt. Mainly they really try hard not to get caught in human traps. I had to smile at this because I remember my dad use to catch foxes in those human traps. I enjoyed all of the different issues the foxes were having. The hound dogs, the fleas, the coyotes, all told with a bit of humor in the mix. And with each of these stories, there is always a lesson to be learned, different ways to tackle their adventures to make sure they stayed alive. As humans, we don't think much of it but the fox family is striving to stay alive. If you enjoy the animals of the wild and their habitat, I think you will find this story amusing. In these wild animals, we can see the beauty of God's wonderful creation. I encourage you to check out this book and see what author John C Hill has to say.

Lois Henderson

FoxHide: From HillCountry Farm, written by John C. Hill, describes a family of foxes called Hyde, who “live in a fox den at the base of a huge cypress tree with a door, a den, windows, a kitchen, and bedrooms… ”, which is set in the middle of the bayou. The tale is narrated by one of the kits, named Pawz, born while Hurricane Cleo is rampaging outside, and whose fellow siblings are called Strike and BoomBoom, “after the sequence of the lightning event.” The storm is described in graphic detail, preceding Hill’s description of family life in, and outside, the den. The involved nuances of the relationships between the different characters are related in all their complexity. Hill’s sense of humor is conveyed, for instance, in how DaddyFox fights to keep fleas out of the den, which is a marital demand placed by MommaFox on him.

John C. Hill’s FoxHide: From HillCountry Farm is written in short, frenetic sentences, in a jerky rhythm that mirrors the quickness and speed of the fox, so that the book reads almost like poetry, especially considering the author’s use of literary metaphor (“Their paws were dancing as if wings of feathers were carrying them along”) and the actual poem or two into which the author occasionally lapses. The story takes a while to get into because it is so unusual, but once you do, it gathers a momentum all of its own. The dramatic imagery enables you to visualize the scenes described with ease. Hill shows clear sensitivity to the environment and to the different animals that live in such a setting. His awareness of the nuances of language and the interrelationships among the various components of the landscape makes for intriguing reading. In short, an interesting glimpse into the life of foxes, of whose habits you are likely to be far more aware of by the end of the book than you were at the start.