Harrow and Arty are hares and first season Border Patrollers. Their warren is within a large city. On a cool winter evening, on patrol, Harrow and Arty discover that humans have built something terrible. A massive fence has been built around the Eastside Warren’s vegetable gardens. Long ago the Eastside Warren claimed these gardens as their own and each summer the hares gather enough food for the upcoming winter. This fence has been built with one purpose…and that purpose is to keep hares out! The young patrollers soon find them selves on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by a senior patroller, the three hares are sent to enlist the help of the Big River Beavers who live far to the west, across the inner city. This senior patroller, however, has plans of her own. The mission may be doomed before it even has a chance.
Sunny watched from behind a tree, waiting for the right moment to pounce.
“Where do you two think you’re going in such a hurry?” she said, leaping suddenly onto the path. Two young, startled hares looked up at her. Sunny dropped her patrol pack on the ground.
“Oh . . . no . . . not you,” said Harrow, the larger of the two.
“Do I have to repeat myself?” Sunny suspiciously eyed the bulging bundles of food strapped to the backs of Harrow and Arty, the newest patrollers for the Eastside Warren.
Harrow glared at Sunny. “Arty and me are on official patrol business. Step aside and let us pass.”
The warren’s strongest hare rose up to her full height, her shoulders and legs rippling with muscles. Tilting her head to one side, she sneered, “Step aside? Me? Don’t think so.”READ MORE
Before Harrow and Arty could turn to run, Sunny landed a hard kick into Harrow’s stomach. Harrow fell back and piled into Arty. Their packs fell to the ground, spilling the food they had taken all morning to gather.
“Too easy,” said Sunny. “Official patrol business. Ha . . . that’s a good one. Stealing from the winter stores more like.” She hopped toward the food scattered on the ground. “Why, you little thieves,” accused Sunny, while inspecting the food that had fallen to the ground. She kicked at a few seed cakes and held up a wilted carrot with a sneer. Harrow slowly stood up, brushed himself off, and raised his head. He hopped toward Sunny and stopped right in front of her. At full height, he didn’t even reach her chin.
Sunny could not believe it. How dare Harrow confront her. A senior patroller and the captain’s daughter!
Arty, still on the ground said, “Harrow, let’s go. We’ll gather more.”
“Why should we?” said Harrow. “We spent all morning getting this food. It isn’t stolen. We aren’t thieves and you, Sunny Ruthers, can leave us alone!”
Sunny pushed Harrow hard and cuffed his ears with her massive paws. Picking him up by the ears, she hurled him into a thornbush.
“Yup,” she said. “Too easy.” Sunny shook her head, ears flopping lazily, feeling powerful and proud of herself.
“Take the food, Sunny,” said Arty. “Just take it.”
Harrow scrambled out of the thornbush and stood trembling, staring straight at Sunny.
Sunny made a big show out of dumping the remaining food out of the patrollers’ packs. She picked up what she wanted and stomped on the rest.
“You’re no good, Sunny Ruthers, a disgrace to the warren. One day, your father is going to find out what you’re really like,” spat Harrow. “The whole warren knows. You’re mean and everyone hates you. The warren would be better off without you.”COLLAPSE
"Young’s middle-grade novel chronicles friendship and peril among a group of rabbits. Harrow and Arty are hares and the newest patrollers for the Eastside Warren. Scrounging for food, they discover a fence has been put around the last available garden—meaning their warren is doomed unless they can find a way to break through it.... The multilayered portrayal of animal society, as well as the beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Popowich that open each chapter, makes this an ideal book to spark conversation between children and adults about the larger world. An engaging adventure that expertly wraps heavy themes in a simple bunny tale."