While looking for a new book to read and share with my middle school students, Pax kept coming up as a recommended read. This is the first book I have read by the author and in many ways, it brought me back to my childhood and reading Where the Red Fern Grows. (Ahh, I loved that book!) Pax carries the same punch and beautiful writing as that book. It also tugs at the heartstrings, for anyone who has ever had a pet will instantly connect with the main character in this book. Although it is written for upper elementary to lower middle school children, there is much that adults can connect to, and the writing is anything but “childish.” Great sentence structure, vocabulary, and a powerful story creates an unforgettable book and journey as boy and fox try to be reunited again amidst a great war.
Pax, by Sara Pennypacker
Genre: children’s literature; nature; animals
Summary: Peter and Pax are inseparable, ever since Peter found Pax alone and abandoned as a kit. However, years later a large war is looming, and Peter is forced to drop off Pax in a forest as Peter’s father enlists in the war. 300 miles away Peter moves in with his grandfather–a move Peter bitterly regrets. That night Peter realizes he should have never dropped of Pax, alone and vulnerable, and sets off on a journey to find and rescue his beloved friend. Meanwhile, Pax sets off on an adventure of his own, trying to be reunited with his owner.
Excerpt: “Three hundred miles. It looked like he could shave off a hundred of them by taking the shortcut, so say around two hundred. If he could walk at least thirty miles a day, he could make it in a week or less.
They’d left Pax at the head of the access road that lead to the ruins of an old rope mill. Peter had insisted on this road because hardly anyone ever used it–Pax didn’t know about traffic–and because there were woods and fields all around. He’d go back and find Pax there, waiting, in seven days. He wouldn’t let himself think about what might happen to a tame fox in those seven days. No, Pax would be waiting at the side of the road, right where they’d left him. He’d be hungry, for sure, and probably scared, but he’d be okay. Peter would take him home. They would stay there. Just let someone try to make him leave this time. That was the right thing to do.
He and Pax. Inseparable.”
(Pax, Sara Pennypacker 20)
Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Enjoy. xoxo