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4.5/5 (75 peringkat)
224 pages
3 hours
Feb 2, 2016


From Scribd: About the Book

Pax was merely a kit when his family was killed and taken from him. Pax was lucky enough to be rescued by Peter, "his boy." But after Peter's father enlists in the millitary and goes to war, Peter is forced to return Pax to the wild before he moves hundreds of miles away to live with his grandpa.

This is the charming story of Peter, Pax, and their individual struggles to return to one another, no matter what.
Feb 2, 2016

Tentang penulis

Sara Pennypacker is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pax; the award-winning Clementine books and its spinoff series, Waylon!; and the acclaimed novel Summer of the Gypsy Moths. She divides her time between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Florida. You can visit her online at www.sarapennypacker.com.

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Pax - Sara Pennypacker


The fox felt the car slow before the boy did, as he felt everything first. Through the pads of his paws, along his spine, in the sensitive whiskers at his wrists. By the vibrations, he learned also that the road had grown coarser. He stretched up from his boy’s lap and sniffed at threads of scent leaking in through the window, which told him they were now traveling into woodlands. The sharp odors of pine—wood, bark, cones, and needles—slivered through the air like blades, but beneath that, the fox recognized softer clover and wild garlic and ferns, and also a hundred things he had never encountered before but that smelled green and urgent.

The boy sensed something now, too. He pulled his pet back to him and gripped his baseball glove more tightly.

The boy’s anxiety surprised the fox. The few times they had traveled in the car before, the boy had been calm or even excited. The fox nudged his muzzle into the glove’s webbing, although he hated the leather smell. His boy always laughed when he did this. He would close the glove around his pet’s head, play-wrestling, and in this way the fox would distract him.

But today the boy lifted his pet and buried his face in the fox’s white ruff, pressing hard.

It was then that the fox realized his boy was crying. He twisted around to study his face to be sure. Yes, crying—although without a sound, something the fox had never known him to do. The boy hadn’t shed tears for a very long time, but the fox remembered: always before he had cried out, as if to demand that attention be paid to the curious occurrence of salty water streaming from his eyes.

The fox licked at the tears and then grew more confused. There was no scent of blood. He squirmed out of the boy’s arms to inspect his human more carefully, alarmed that he could have failed to notice an injury, although his sense of smell was never wrong. No, no blood; not even the under-skin pooling of a bruise or the marrow leak of a cracked bone, which had happened once.

The car pulled to the right, and the suitcase beside them shifted. By its scent, the fox knew it held the boy’s clothing and the things from his room he handled most often: the photo he kept on top of his bureau and the items he hid in the bottom drawer. He pawed at a corner, hoping to pry the suitcase open enough for the boy’s weak nose to smell these favored things and be comforted. But just then the car slowed again, this time to a rumbling crawl. The boy slumped forward, his head in his hands.

The fox’s heartbeat climbed and the brushy hairs of his tail lifted. The charred metal scent of the father’s new clothing was burning his throat. He leaped to the window and scratched at it. Sometimes at home his boy would raise a similar glass wall if he did this. He always felt better when the glass wall was lifted.

Instead, the boy pulled him down onto his lap again and spoke to his father in a begging tone. The fox had learned the meaning of many human words, and he heard him use one of them now: NO. Often the no word was linked to one of the two names he knew: his own and his boy’s. He listened carefully, but today it was just the NO, pleaded to the father over and over.

The car juddered to a full stop and tilted off to the right, a cloud of dust rising beyond the window. The father reached over the seat again, and after saying something to his son in a soft voice that didn’t match his hard lie-scent, he grasped the fox by the scruff of the neck.

His boy did not resist, so the fox did not resist. He hung limp and vulnerable in the man’s grasp, although he was now frightened enough to nip. He would not displease his humans today. The father opened the car door and strode over gravel and patchy weeds to the edge of a wood. The boy got out and followed.

The father set the fox down, and the fox bounded out of his reach. He locked his gaze on his two humans, surprised to notice that they were nearly the same height now. The boy had grown very tall recently.

The father pointed to the woods. The boy looked at his father for a long moment, his eyes streaming again. And then he dried his face with the neck of his T-shirt and nodded. He reached into his jeans pocket and withdrew an old plastic soldier, the fox’s favorite toy.

The fox came to alert, ready for the familiar game. His boy would throw the toy, and he would track it down—a feat the boy always seemed to find remarkable. He would retrieve the toy and wait with it in his mouth until the boy found him and took it back to toss again.

And sure enough, the boy held the toy soldier aloft and then hurled it into the woods. The fox’s relief—they were only here to play the game!—made him careless. He streaked toward the woods without looking back at his humans. If he had, he would have seen the boy wrench away from his father and cross his arms over his face, and he would have returned. Whatever his boy needed—protection, distraction, affection—he would have offered.

Instead, he set off after the toy. Finding it was slightly more difficult than usual, as there were so many other, fresher odors in the woods. But only slightly—after all, the scent of his boy was also on the toy. That scent he could find anywhere.

The toy soldier lay facedown at the burled root of a butternut tree, as if he had pitched himself there in despair. His rifle, its butt pressed tirelessly against his face, was buried to the hilt in leaf litter. The fox nudged the toy free, took it between his teeth, and rose on his haunches to allow his boy to find him.

In the still woods, the only movements were bars of sunlight glinting like green glass through the leafy canopy. He stretched higher. There was no sign of his boy. A prickle of worry shivered up the fox’s spine. He dropped the toy and barked. There was no response. He barked again, and again was answered by only silence. If this was a new game, he did not like it.

He picked up the toy soldier and began to retrace his trail. As he loped out of the woods, a jay streaked in above him, shrieking. The fox froze, torn.

His boy was waiting to play the game. But birds! Hours upon hours he had watched birds from his pen, quivering at the sight of them slicing the sky as recklessly as the lightning he often saw on summer evenings. The freedom of their flights always mesmerized him.

The jay called again, deeper in the forest now, but answered by a chorus of reply. For one more moment the fox hesitated, peering into the trees for another sight of the electric-blue wedge.

And then, behind him, he heard a car door slam shut, and then another. He bounded at full speed, heedless of the briars that tore at his cheeks. The car’s engine roared to life, and the fox skidded to a stop at the edge of the road.

His boy rolled the window down and reached his arms out. And as the car sped away in a pelting spray of gravel, the father cried out the boy’s name, Peter! And the boy cried out the only other name the fox knew.


So there were lots of them.

Peter heard how stupid it sounded, but he couldn’t help repeating it. Lots. He plowed his fingers through the heap of plastic soldiers in the battered cookie tin—identical except for their poses: standing, kneeling, and prone, all with rifles pressed hard to their olive-green cheeks. I always thought he just had the one.

No. I was always stepping on them. He must have had hundreds. A whole army of them. The grandfather laughed at his own accidental joke, but Peter didn’t. He turned his head and looked intently out the window, as if he had just caught sight of something in the darkening back yard. He raised a hand to draw his knuckles up his jaw line, exactly the way his father rasped his beard stubble, and wiped surreptitiously at the tears that had brimmed. What kind of a baby cried about something like this?

And why was he crying at all, anyway? He was twelve and he hadn’t cried for years, not even when he’d fractured his thumb bare-handing Josh Hourihan’s pop fly. That had hurt a lot, but he’d only cursed through the pain waiting with the coach for X-rays. Man up. But today, twice.

Peter lifted a soldier from the tin and drifted back to the day he’d found one just like it in his father’s desk. What’s this? he’d asked, holding it up.

Peter’s father had reached over and taken it, his face softening. Huh. Been a long time. That was my favorite toy when I was a kid.

Can I have it?

His dad had tossed the soldier back. Sure.

Peter had set it up on the windowsill beside his bed, pointing the little plastic rifle out in a satisfying show of defense. But within the hour Pax had swiped it, which made Peter laugh—just like him, Pax had to have it.

Peter dropped the toy back into the tin and was about to snap the lid back on when he noticed the edge of a yellowed photo sticking up from the mound of soldiers.

He tugged it free. His dad, at maybe ten or eleven, with one arm draped around a dog. Looked like part collie, part a hundred other things. Looked like a good dog, the kind you would tell your own son about. I never knew Dad had a dog, he said, passing the photo to his grandfather.

That’s Duke. Dumbest creature ever born, always underfoot. The old man looked more closely at the picture, and then over at Peter as if seeing something for the first time. You’ve got the same black hair as your dad. He rubbed at the fringe of gray fuzz banding the top of his head. I had it too, way back. And look, he was scrawny then, too, same as you, same as me, with those ears like a jug. The men in our family—I guess our apples don’t fall far from the tree, eh?

No, sir. Peter forced a small smile, but it didn’t hold up. Underfoot. That was the word Peter’s father had used. He can’t have that fox underfoot. He doesn’t move as fast as he used to. You stay out of the way, too. He’s not used to having a kid around.

You know, war came and I went and served, like my father. Like your father now. Duty calls, and we answer in this family. No, sir, our apples don’t fall far from the tree. He handed back the photo. Your father and that dog. They were inseparable. I’d almost forgotten.

Peter put the photo back into the tin and pressed the lid down tight, then slid it under the bed, where he’d found it. He looked out the window again. He couldn’t risk talking about pets right now. He didn’t want to hear about duty. And he sure didn’t want to hear any more about apples and the trees they were stuck underneath. What time does school start here? he asked, not turning around.

Eight. They said to show up early, introduce yourself to the homeroom teacher. Mrs. Mirez, or Ramirez . . . something. I got you some supplies. The old man nodded over to a spiral notebook, a beat-up thermos, and a bunch of stubby pencils bundled together with a thick rubber band.

Peter walked over to the desk and put everything into his backpack. Thanks. Bus or walk?

Walk. Your father went to that school, and he walked. Follow Ash to the end, turn right on School Street, and you’ll see it—big brick building. School Street—get it? You leave by seven thirty, you’ll have plenty of time.

Peter nodded. He wanted to be left alone. Okay. I’m all set. I guess I’ll go to bed.

Good, his grandfather replied, not bothering to hide the relief in his voice. He left, closing the door behind him firmly as if to say, You can have this room, but the rest of the house is mine.

Peter stood by the door and listened to him walk away. After a minute, he heard the sound of dishes clattering in the sink. He pictured his grandfather in the cramped kitchen where they’d eaten their silent dinner of stew, the kitchen that reeked so strongly of fried onions that Peter figured the smell would outlive his grandfather. After a hundred years of scrubbing by a dozen different families, this house would probably still smell bitter.

Peter heard his grandfather shuffle back along the hall to his bedroom, and then the low spark as the television caught, the volume turned down, an agitated news commentator barely audible. Only then did he toe off his sneakers and lie down on the narrow bed.

Six months—maybe more—of living here with his grandfather, who always seemed on the verge of blowing up. What’s he always so mad about, anyway? Peter had asked his father once, years ago.

Everything. Life, his father had answered. He got worse after your grandmother died.

After his own mother had died, Peter had watched his father anxiously. At first, there had just been a frightening silence. But gradually his face had hardened into the permanent threat of a scowl, and his hands clenched in fists by his sides as if itching for something to set him off.

Peter learned to avoid being that something. Learned to stay out of his way.

The smell of stale grease and onions crawled over him, seeping from the walls, from the bed itself. He opened the window beside him.

The April breeze that blew in was chilly. Pax had never been alone outside before, except in his pen. Peter tried to extinguish the last sight he’d had of his fox. He probably hadn’t followed their car for long. But the image of him flopping down on the gravel shoulder, confused, was worse.

Peter’s anxiety began to stir. All day, the whole ride here, Peter had sensed it coiling. It always seemed like a snake to him, his anxiety—waiting just out of sight, ready to slither up his spine, hissing its familiar taunt. You aren’t where you should be. Something bad is going to happen because you aren’t where you should be.

He rolled over and pulled the cookie tin out from under the bed. He

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Pendapat orang tentang Pax

75 peringkat / 45 Ulasan
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Ulasan kritikus

  • This is a story of war, of platonic love, and of a bond between boy and fox that refuses to be broken no matter how many miles, how many dangers, and how many days are between them. I pretty much fell in love with Peter and Pax the moment I read about them, and my obsession with their friendship stayed strong throughout this entire magical book. It isn't a picture book, mind you, though there are a few illustrations throughout the story. Instead, it is more of a novel that is packed full of important lessons, hard hitting feelings, and compassion that could blanket the entire planet and still have some left over. Pennypacker does a brilliant job with this story, and although it is arguably written for children, I absolutely loved it (I am an adult, which I'm sure you've gathered by now).

    Scribd Editors
  • We all have imagined what it would be like to be best friends with an animal. Whatever your favorite creature was as a child, you certainly spent time imagining what it would be like to form an breakable bond with them, to know that they felt the same about you, and to understand that you'd put that friendship above everything else in your young life. Pax tells that story, a story about Peter and Pax and their best friendship that easily stretches across their separate species. When they are split up, Peter and Pax both know that no war can keep them apart, and thus begins the epic quest of them struggling to reunite. I cried, I laughed, I thoroughly enjoyed every part of this book.

    Scribd Editors

Ulasan pembaca

  • (4/5)
    This is a beautiful book about loss, grief, and spiritual renewal set in a dangerous world with an uncertain future.
  • (3/5)
    As an unnamed country is on the verge of war, Peter's father forces him to abandon his beloved pet fox Pax. Dropped off at his grandfather's, a guilt-stricken Peter immediately runs away to find his fox. Unfortunately he breaks his ankle on the way back and is taken in by Vola, a loner veteran with a prosthetic leg and PTSD.. Meanwhile, Pax waits loyally for Peter's sure return but the realities of living in the wild drive him to hang out with a small pack of foxes who are surer of their place in the forest. In alternating views and under challenging circumstances, boy and fox struggle to find each other. Both are scarred by their journeys which makes for a bittersweet ending: If you love it, set it free. Keep the tissues handy.
  • (5/5)
    Pax is the story of the friendship between a boy and his pet fox, and the lengths to which the boy goes to find his fox again after being forced by his father to let him go by the roadside. The book goes on and follows both of them as they try to find each other. Each chapter rotates between the perspective of the boy or the fox which makes it interesting to read. War and its destruction is a theme that runs through the book, even as the fox's name Pax means "peace". As the boy discovers who he really is, the fox has to discover who he is as a fox in the company of wild foxes since he was raised by the boy after being rescued as a pup. The ending is just right, not a happy ending where everything turns out okay, because in war there is no going back to the way things were. This book is meant to be read by older children, and I think especially sensitive or younger kids would be bothered by it or just miss the point.
  • (5/5)
    What a beautiful story. On the surface, it's about a boy trying to find his way back to his adopted fox. Deeper, it's about peace, the sickness of war, breaking the cycle of anger and violence, fighting self-imposed demons, surviving and moving on from guilt, self-sacrifice and bravery for the ones we love, freedom and choices. The voices of Peter and Pax ring true.From the book:What is war?Gray paused. There is a disease that strikes foxes sometimes. It causes them to abandon their ways, to attack strangers. War is a human sickness like this.Pax jumped to his feet. The war-sick—will they attack my boy?War came to the land where I lived with humans. Everything was ruined. There was fire everywhere. Many deaths, and not only of the war-sick, adult males. Children, mothers, elders of their own kind. All the animals. The men who were sick with the disease spilled their chaos over everything in their path.
  • (4/5)
    I picked this up mainly because I'm a big fan of Jon Klassen, the illustrator. It's actually a novel with illustrations, and it made me realize that I hadn't read a novel targeting middle-schoolers in forever. This is a very good one, smart and sad in just the way kids like it.
  • (5/5)
    Summary: A twelve year old boy is forced to abandon his five-year-old fox kit as his father drops him off to live with his grandfather so that he can go to war. Pax doesn't understand why "his boy" would leave him, and he does everything he can to reunite with him. "His boy" is of the same mind and quickly runs away from his grandfather's house in a quest to find his fox. But, he does not get far. He breaks his ankle and finds himself recovering in a reclusive, odd woman's home who makes scary marionettes. Can he trust her? This is a book of desperate love between a boy and his fox attempting to reunite through insurmountable odds.Personal Response: I was crying by page 3. This book was like reading a mix of Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller in reverse. I debated finishing this book, because I didn't know if I wanted to put myself through the misery. I am so glad that I finished this book! The ending that I yearned for became a reality, and I cried again. I've read several of Sara Pennypacker's Clementine Books, but this one was so far beyond what she has written to this point, it was impressive. Clementine is adorable, but this book was a home run! Curriculum Connection: This is a perfect book to recommend to those kids that have just finished a survival book, or have read Bridge to Terebithia, Hatchet, Lost Dog, or those books mentioned above. This is a book to put into the hands of all 4th -7th grade students. The discussions that would come from even a read-aloud of this book in the classroom, would be phenomenal. This book is one to talk about to students at the beginning of library time.
  • (5/5)
    I love stories which are told from an unexpected perspective. In this case there are two perspectives that of a fox who has become a pet and his boy, Peter. When war comes to the unknown country, the father is forced to send his son to live with his grouchy old grandfather. Pax the fox was sent back into the wild. When Peter runs away from his grandfather to find Pax, he ends up spending time with a woman who lives alone far from people. Pennypacker shows her vast writing style in this book. Known best for her Clementine books, this book is one that can be read on many levels. On the surface, it’s the story of a runaway boy searching for his pet, but on a deeper level it is about the cost of peace, the real cost of war and about what finding out where home is.
  • (5/5)
    This is a compelling novel that begins with a heart-rending story of loss and separation. The subsequent journey of self-discovery, determination, and hope is told from two different perspectives, alternating between that of a twelve year old boy and his beloved fox. Both change dramatically by the end of the book. I could hardly put this book down.
  • (4/5)
    I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING! This book is exactly why I stay away from books about animals. I teared up at the beginning and I sobbed at the end. Pax is about a boy and his fox and the on coming war. Peter has to leave his fox, Pax, behind in the woods because his dad joined the military and he has to go live with his grandpa, but right away he realizes what a terrible mistake he has made and must go find Pax. The story explores the cost of war that might not be thought about usually and how it can affect everything in different ways. This story is sad, but has a good uplifting message. I felt at times the plot could of been smoother and maybe more information about the characters and the background. The fox chapters are all amazing though and emotional. Ugh. Definitely not a book just for children, any age can appreciate the story and message.

    Pax the fox does not die.
  • (4/5)
    ..........SPOILERS..........Pax by Sara Pennypacker is the story of a fox and his boy who are separated because of a war.Plot 4/5: While the plot wasn't what I was expecting, I found this story to be very moving.Characters 5/5: The characters are very well written.World building 4/5: This story is mainly set in two places, the woods and one of the characters homes.Pacing 4/5: The pacing is steady.Writing 5/5: This story is written in the point of view of the fox and the fox's boy.Overall 4.4: Although this story wasn't what I expected, it is a wonderfully written story of two lives that become separated and them trying to find each other again. Favorite Quote: "We all own a beast called anger. It can serve us: many good things come of anger at bad things; many unjust things are made just. But first we all have to figure out how to civilize it." - VolaFavorite character: Pax and Vola
  • (4/5)
    This was a recommendation and not, frankly, a book I would normally have chosen for myself. That's right: I'm one of those people with PTSD flashbacks from books like Old Yeller and The Yearling and Where the Red Fern Grows. I was warned outright that this book went a bit "dark" - which I suppose it does, for mid-grade children's fiction. What I might prefer to say is that it doesn't shy away from reality. In many ways, Sara Pennypacker's book is completely allegorical: it takes place in an unnamed country, during an unnamed war. Pax and his human boy are two of only three fully drawn characters in the novel. Pennypacker's approach works, though: the story hits hard without feeling "messagey," and the stakes are high without feeling overwhelming. In particular, I liked the way she eschewed both the emotionally simplistic Hollywood ending and the overly cynical conclusion you might expect. Instead, she manages to hit a sweet spot: satisfaction without sentimentality, triumph without a return to status quo. A good book, easy to recommend - and, thankfully, not the next Watership Down (in the best possible, least traumatizing sense!).
  • (4/5)
    As the book opens, Peter, following his fathers orders, sends his pet fox, Pax, away by tossing Pax's favorite toy into the woods, and then getting in the car and driving away while Pax goes to find it.The book alternates chapters from telling Peter's story after this event and telling Pax's story. Pax must survive in the wild after a life of having kibble served to him in a bowl. Peter realizes he has to right the wrong he did to Pax, runs away, and must survive in the woods himself while he travels 200 miles back to where he abandoned the pet he loved more than anything else in the world. Pax gets help from a few wild foxes he befriends. Peter gets help from Vola, an eccentric loner woman who takes him under her wing.And behind it all is a backdrop of some unspecified war going on in the area.The story of the bond between the fox and the boy is amazing, but the anti-war story is so vaguely relevant to the main plot, it's almost superfluous.
  • (5/5)
    Nothing can carry you away like a great book for older children, for kids who need stories to help them with the terrible and exhilarating task of understanding who they are, what values they hold, and what their mission will be in a world that’s more challenging than they could have understood a few years ago, or last year, or last month. A slow reader, I picked this book up at about 8:00 pm and didn’t put it down until I finished at two in the morning. The boy hero of this book has raised a fox, Pax, from a kit since he found it abandoned five years ago, and now his father, who is going off to war, makes him abandon it in the woods before being sent to live with his grandfather. Within hours the boy realizes that not resisting his father (an angry and sometimes violent man) was the first terrible mistake of his life, and he sets out to find his fox—now hundreds of miles away, in sparsely populated country, across deep woods.Meanwhile, the fox has his own adventures. Never having learned to hunt, he’s nearly helpless in the woods, and although he quickly meets other foxes, the leader of the band has a hatred of humans and deeply mistrusts Pax because of the human scent he carries. The chapters from Pax’s perspective are fascinating and almost completely convincing, one of the best fictional attempts to assume an animal’s point of view. The book alternates between the boy’s story and the fox’s story until the stories converge at the end.There are big surprises in both stories, and narrative punches are not pulled. Before age 10 (or 11?) I would not have been able to easily handle this book, particularly the scenes in which animals are hurt. After 14, I would have rejected it as too idealistic. It’s not idealistic—like a surprising ally the boy finds on his journey, it’s hard-headed about the decisions one has to make in life and what they cost. If you’re a person who still needs stories to help make sense of life, you’ll want to read this book.
  • (4/5)
    I kept seeing this one in my feed and then it kept jumping out at me at work so I had to bring it home. It was sooo good. Loving someone enough to let them go no matter how much it hurts is never easy. This was done so well in this book. But oh boy that first chapter just about killed me.
  • (4/5)
    Audiobook narrated by Michael Curran-DorsanoFrom the book jacket Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild. At his grandfather’shouse three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be … He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war … to be reunited with his fox. Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own.My ReactionsThis is a wonderful tale of loyalty, love, grief and perseverance. The point of view shifts from from Pax’s story to Peter’s experiences by chapters. Both endure significant hardship – Peter suffering guilt for having betrayed his beloved pet, and enduring the rigors of traveling such a long distance alone (and injured). Pax, totally domesticated, has no hunting skills nor the social skills he needs to get along with the wild foxes he encounters. And then there is the war … roads are blocked, tanks rumble past, woods are mined, shots are fired. Both Peter and Pax are somewhat distrustful, having lost their faith in others because of the betrayals they’ve suffered. But they come to terms with their own limitations and learn to trust and rely upon others to help them. Both also draw on reserves of strength, courage and perseverance they didn’t know they had to help not only themselves but those around them.Allison never gives us a location for this book, but it seems to be the United States. This country has been fortunate NOT to have to endure the kind of war depicted on our own soil. Michael Curran-Dorsano does a marvelous job voicing the audio book. He had a good pace, and it was easy to tell when he was voicing Pax’s point of view vs. Peter’s. Jon Klassen’s illustrations are also wonderful; they are at once simple and expressive. I’m glad I thought to get the text version as a reference point so I could enjoy his drawings.
  • (5/5)
    This is a lovely well written story about boy, a fox, a father and disabled war veteran whose paths cross and are the better for the meeting. The story at its heart is a coming of age story seen through the eyes of the boy and the Fox. There are none of tropes that you would think to find in an animal meets human story. The actions of the boy and the fox come from the natural behaviors of each. Sara Pennypacker the author and Jon Klaassen the illustrator have combined their talents cowrite a classic story that fathers can read with their sons and moms can read with their daughters. This is an excellent story for those new to reading fiction. This story should become a movie.
  • (4/5)
    I find myself torn about this book. There are some very captivating moments, and I see why the time and place are not specified. This books addresses a lot of issues and could make for great discussion with kids or adults. I was disappointed when the ending wrapped up so quickly. The few illustrations in this books are beautiful and allow you to really see the story.
  • (5/5)
    War is coming, and Peter's father has enlisted in the military. Peter himself is being sent to live with his grandfather, in safety behind the approaching battle lines. Forced by his father to release his beloved pet fox Pax, whom he had raised since a newborn kit, into the wild, Peter has no sooner arrived at his grandfather's then he realizes what a terrible mistake he has made, and sets off on a two-hundred mile journey to find and rescue his best friend. The way is hard, and along the way he meets with both good and bad fortune, in the form of injury and a new friend - Vola - who takes him in and nurses him back to a semblance of health. Pax, in the meantime, terribly hurt and confused at his abandonment, but determined to wait for Peter's return, becomes involved in the world of wild foxes, threatened by the approaching war. As Pax comes to understand the terrible things that lie ahead for humans and animals alike, he becomes ever more determined to find and protect his boy. But the new ties of the wild, to the vixen Bristle and her little brother Runt, pull him in a different direction. Boy and fox draw ever closer to one another, converging on the front lines of the impending conflict...A book that grabbed hold of me as a reader, and never let go the entire way through, Pax is an intensely emotional roller-coaster ride. I was conscious many times while reading, of a tense knot of anxiety in my stomach, as boy and fox journeyed across a threatening landscape. Aware of the many dangers that await those caught up in war - especially children and animals, who often have fewer defenses that the combatants themselves - I was almost physically repulsed by the idea of reading on, and yet somehow I couldn't stop myself from continuing. This is a thoughtful examination of a number of important themes, from the bond between a child and his animal, to the nature of war and its true costs. The latter is explored, not just through the impending war - very few details are given, save that this is a conflict about water, leading me to suspect that the setting is sometime in the future, when that resource is predicted to become very scarce indeed - but also through Vola's story of serving in a previous conflict, and her twenty-year struggle to find herself again, after the terrible things she did. I thought that the fox-view of human affairs was brilliantly handled - soldiers are referred to as "war-sick," and their actions are depicted as tragic and destructive, not just for their own kind, but for all of creation. This is an important idea to communicate, I think - that humans aren't the only ones who suffer because of human actions, that all of the natural world suffers with us. I was reminded of another fox from children's literature, the immortal Cooroo from Pat O'Shea's marvelous fantasy, The Hounds of the Morrigan, who once said that "it is a sad and puzzling fate to share the world with man, but what can we do?" I was also reminded of the recent Maybe a Fox, which explores some of the same themes as Pax, also to great effect. A lovely book, but a sad one - the conclusion wasn't what I had feared, but was still terribly poignant - this is a book well worth reading, although I would caution very sensitive youngsters to proceed with caution.
  • (5/5)
    This is an engaging story of a young boy who has a very close relationship to an orphaned fox he raised from a kit. A war that begins to intrude on his neighborhood forces him to leave the fox in the wild. The story then alternates between the point of view of the fox and the boy as they journey back towards each other illustrating power of relationships, loyalty, and growth.
  • (4/5)
    Yet another YA novel that anyone can enjoy. Somewhat and deliberately ambiguous in time and place (probably Europe, probably early WW2), this engrossing, ultimately bittersweet story of the connection between a boy and the pet fox he was forced to abandon is at heart an anti-war tale. The chapters alternate between the boy's POV and that of Pax the fox. I must say Pax is more interesting because of the foxy things he's now learning as he encounters others of his species for the first time ... it's a vulpine coming-of-age story as well. I heard an interview with Pennypacker on NPR where she described the deep research she did to make sure she didn't have the foxes doing anything un-foxlike. Highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    I hadn't read anything by this author before now, and I really appreciated her ability to describe the almost unconscious feelings associated with certain events. For example, I'm a ball player, and when she described how Peter felt about being on the ball field, my brain said, "Yes! That's it exactly."She captures those feelings and describes them perfectly.Sadly, the cover just did not grab my attention, so this beautiful story sat in my TBR pile for quite a long time before I actually cracked it open. Of course, once I started, I couldn't stop. I loved the characters and the obstacles and even, surprisingly, how it ended. Don't wait... crack it open and get reading.
  • (5/5)
    Told in alternating chapters through the fox, Pax's, voice and his boy, Peter's voice, this is a children's novel not just for children. Though they are different species, and some unenlightened people might consider Pax a pet, fox and boy are bonded by love and loyalty as strong as that between two human beings. Pennypacker elucidates the voices of the two friends with humble respect, and then adds Vola, a woman with a voice of pain and wisdom. Vola's clipped language - "Right." "No." - followed by thoughtful explanations embodies her spirit: sharp at the beginning, and then warmly instructive. Her quotes plastered on index cards are like Zen Koans: "The Gulf Stream will flow through a straw, provided the straw is aligned to the Gulf Stream and not at crosscurrents." When Peter asks what this means, his mentor replies: "It means align yourself, boy. Figure out how things are, and accept it."Often I love one character over others in a book, but here I loved Pax, Peter and Vola equally. I wish I could meet them. Lovely, heartbreaking, lyrical and hopeful, Pax inspires readers to think deeply about the meaning of peace and the price of war. "Just because it isn't happening here doesn't mean it isn't happening."Jon Klassen's spare art complements the novel powerfully. I especially love the cover illustrating Pax's intense loyalty and vibrant hope. The final picture radiates love.
  • (4/5)
    A story about a boy and his pet fox. Peter is forced to leave his pet fox, Pax, behind when his father sends him to live with his grandfather. Peter soon regrets leaving Pax behind, and finds himself packing his bags to go in search of his furry friend. His search starts out bad when he injures his leg in the forest, but Peter never gives up hope of being reunited with Pax…and along the way he discovers his own strength and determination with the help of an unlikely friend. A coming of age story that is both heartbreaking and full of hope. - SB
  • (4/5)
    An animal book is a difficult sell to me. But I enjoyed this story of Peter and Pax. They are kind of on parallel journeys as they try to reunite for most of the book. In alternating chapters, we learn in their own voices about their trials and tribulations after they are separated. Peter is sent to his grandfather's while his dad goes to war and Pax is sent to the forest. The two have been inseparable for years. Peter brought Pax home after the death of his mother. There is some artwork within the book, but I frequently had a difficult time deciphering the pictures.
  • (5/5)
    I don't often say this this, but be warned: this book will give you ALL the emotions. Told in alternating POVs between Peter, a young boy, and his fox, Pax, the story follows the dual journeys that Peter and Pax undertake to find each other after they are separated when Peter's father goes to war. The book is heartbreaking from the first chapter and doesn't really back down with the emotional energy throughout. Ultimately, this is a story of friendship, love, redemption, and loyalty. I was slightly put off by the ending, but after thinking about it, IMO there was really no other way Pennypacker could have ended the story. Jon Klassen's accompanying illustrations are a lovely addition to the book. This is going to be a book that will be sticking with me for quite some time.
  • (5/5)
    In Pax, 12 year old Peter's mother is deceased, and his father tells him he must part from his closest companion, his fox Pax. Peter will live with his grandfather while the father goes off to fight in the war. The parting from Pax, and their subsequent efforts to find each other, are the spine of the story. The war is happening all around them, and we see the harm it causes through the eyes of Pax.Peter is determined to be a better man than his father, and comes upon a war veteran who has isolated herself n the woods, trying to forget her own memories from the war. The bond they form is moving and genuine, and she helps him in his quest to reunite with Pax.This is beautifully written, with the POVs of the characters, including Pax, believable and page-turning. Pax, having been raised as a pet, has to learn how to survive in the woods, as does Peter in a different way. There are some nice illustrations by Jon Klassen, too. This one has the feel of a classic, and it's well worth entering its world. I'll be giving it as a gift all over the place.
  • (2/5)
    If you like animal books, you’ll like this novel.Pax has lived with Peter since he was a kit. Now, Peter has sent him to the wild, and he doesn’t know how to survive. Peter, meanwhile, is sent to live with his grandfather because his father has joined the war. On his first night, Peter realizes that he can’t live without Pax, so he leaves to find him.The novel alternates between Pax and Peter’s points of view as they both struggle and learn new truths about themselves and others.
  • (5/5)
    When Peter's father goes off to war, Peter must go live with his grandfather, and Pax, Peter's pet fox, must be returned to the wild. Peter immediately regrets this course of action, and determines to run away and find Pax. Pax is also determined to return to his boy. But the journey will not be easy for either of them...I knew this story was going to make me cry, and it did. The writing is strong and the characters are well-developed, the pacing is good . . . this has all of the elements of an award-winning book and an instant classic. If you can handle the emotions inherent in this sort of animal story, this is a must-read.
  • (4/5)
    A reviewer mentioned this as a "tear-jerker". That is the best description. The plot deals with companionship, loyalty and perseverance with an overtone of hardship and even danger.The characters are very well developed and the author really knows how to ramp up emotion and give you a strong urge to know how the fox and the boy come out of their predicamentI would barely call this a children's book as there is too much stress in the story. But it would be suitable for an adolescent, high school but not a grade-schooler..That said, I was glued to the book once started. I was a little critical the book ends without ramping down the tense dangerous situation the fox is in. Also the boy has some decisions to make soon and would have liked one more chapter to see how the author would handle that. I myself could not see a way forward that would be suitable for both fox and boy. But good authors can pull rabbits out of hats and I hope the author follows this book with a second to finish the story.
  • (4/5)
    A boy. A wolf. A father who has enlisted in a sudden war. The boy releases his wolf into the wild and immediately regrets it. He sneaks away from his grandfather's house to attempt to reunite with the wolf. In the process he breaks his leg and meets up with a woman with her own set of issues stemming from a war. The wolf, too, meets up with new companions and his own set of adventures. All this with suitably mysterious illustrations by the wonderful Jon Klassen.