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Overview

New York Times Bestseller * An Amazon Best Book of the Year * National Book Award Longlist 

Finally in paperback! This handsome edition features French flaps.

From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. Pax is destined to become a classic, beloved for generations to come. 

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's house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn't where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.

Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .

Pax is a wonderful choice for independent reading, sharing in the classroom, homeschooling, and book groups.

Plus, don't miss Here in the Real World, Sarah Pennypacker's next gorgeous and heartfelt middle grade novel!

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Katherine Rundell

Pax…is…a galvanic presence fit to join the ranks of fiction's great foxes…What makes the book truly remarkable are two things: the quality of Pennypacker's prose, which is sharp and restless and vulpine, and the pull of the love between Peter and Pax…For a writer to give voice to an animal is to purport to offer up a secret, and the difficulty becomes how to tell it without shading into cuteness. Many writers…have failed, in books in which the animal becomes the mouthpiece for the moral. Like [Katherine] Applegate and E. B. White before her, Pennypacker succeeds…The book is illustrated by the Caldecott Medal winner Jon Klassen, whose style is a perfect fit. His sharpness of line maps onto the jagged, sharp-edged quality of growing up, which Peter must do…Pax the book is like Pax the fox: half wild and wholly beautiful.

Publishers Weekly

★ 11/16/2015
Peter found Pax, a fox, when he was an orphaned kit, and he has kept him as a pet since his mother’s sudden death, five years earlier. Now Peter’s stern father is bound for an unspecified war—one fought at least partly on domestic soil—forcing 12-year-old Peter to move in with his grandfather, and to release Pax. It takes less than a night for Peter to become overwhelmed with remorse—by morning, he is hiking hundreds of miles to the spot where he reluctantly abandoned Pax. The aftermath of that separation is told in chapters that alternate between the fox and the boy’s points of view. In an exceptionally powerful, if grim story, Pennypacker (Summer of the Gypsy Moths) does a remarkable job of conveying the gritty perspective of a sheltered animal that must instantly learn to live in the wild (“Orphaned before he’d been weaned, Pax had never eaten raw prey. His hunger rose at the blood-scent and so did his curiosity”). Both boy and fox encounter characters who drastically rearrange their worldview: after Peter is injured, he is taken in by Vola, a veteran who has lost a leg and has strong feelings about the true costs of war. The opening scene promises heartbreak that the rest of the story delivers, as boy and fox journey to reunite, each dramatically altered by what it takes to get there. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.)

Ann M. Martin

A sweeping and enchanting wartime story of trust, loyalty, betrayal, and the love of a boy for the fox he’s raised since he was a kit. A master storyteller, Pennypacker leads the reader along a path of shifting hopes to the story’s heart-wrenching conclusion.

Time magazine

Pennypacker’s elegant language and insight into human nature spin a fable extolling empathy above all. By the novel’s poignant ending, Pennypacker has gently made the case that all of us should aspire to that view—children and adults alike.

San Francisco Chronicle

Sometimes an author steps aside from a popular series to break new ground, as evidenced in this arresting novel, at once a wilderness adventure about survival and a philosophical foray into big questions.

Entertainment Weekly

A book that is as much about dealing with loss as it is about how people change and affect the world around them.”An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2016

The Horn Book

An emotional, thought-provoking story of conflict, loyalty, and love.

Katherine Applegate

Searingly honest and heartbreakingly lovely, Pax is, quite simply, a masterpiece.

Booklist (starred review)

Pennypacker’s expert, evenhanded storytelling reveals stunning depth in a relatively small package.

Columbus Dispatch

Pax is set in an unspecified time and place so that the details of the war are unimportant. What is prime is the graceful but haunting story of boy and fox—their relationship set against man-made chaos.

New York Times Book Review

Pax the book is like Pax the fox: half wild and wholly beautiful.

Brightly

Both boy and fox experience the kindness of others even with the backdrop of imminent war.” Recommended 2016 Holiday Gift for Tween Readers

San Francisco Chronicle

Sometimes an author steps aside from a popular series to break new ground, as evidenced in this arresting novel, at once a wilderness adventure about survival and a philosophical foray into big questions.

Brightly.com

Both boy and fox experience the kindness of others even with the backdrop of imminent war.” Recommended 2016 Holiday Gift for Tween Readers

School Library Journal

12/01/2016
Gr 4–7—With moving prose, Pennypacker tells an unusual, viscerally affecting story of war, loss, and the power of friendship. Alternating perspectives between a boy and his pet fox, the novel tracks each character's quest to reunite after their forced separation in a conflict-ridden landscape. Klassen's black-and-white drawings add to the haunting atmosphere of this startling title that children and adults will want to discuss together.

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2015-10-19
A motherless boy is forced to abandon his domesticated fox when his father decides to join soldiers in an approaching war. Twelve-year-old Peter found his loyal companion, Pax, as an orphaned kit while still grieving his own mother's death. Peter's difficult and often harsh father said he could keep the fox "for now" but five years later insists the boy leave Pax by the road when he takes Peter to his grandfather's house, hundreds of miles away. Peter's journey back to Pax and Pax's steadfastness in waiting for Peter's return result in a tale of survival, intrinsic connection, and redemption. The battles between warring humans in the unnamed conflict remain remote, but the oncoming wave of deaths is seen through Pax's eyes as woodland creatures are blown up by mines. While Pax learns to negotiate the complications of surviving in the wild and relating to other foxes, Peter breaks his foot and must learn to trust a seemingly eccentric woman named Vola who battles her own ghosts of war. Alternating chapters from the perspectives of boy and fox are perfectly paced and complementary. Only Peter, Pax, Vola, and three of Pax's fox companions are named, conferring a spare, fablelike quality. Every moment in the graceful, fluid narrative is believable. Klassen's cover art has a sense of contained, powerful stillness. (Interior illustrations not seen.) Moving and poetic. (Animal fantasy. 9-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062673589
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Publication date: 01/28/2017
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews