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Pax

Cover of Pax

Pax

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

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. . . .

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

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. . . .

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About the Author-
  • Sara Pennypacker is the author of the award-winning, New York Times bestselling Clementine series, the acclaimed novel Summer of the Gypsy Moths, and the picture books Meet the Dullards, Pierre in Love, and Sparrow Girl. She divides her time between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Florida. You can visit her online at www.sarapennypacker.com.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Peter and his pet fox, Pax, are inseparable until war parts them. Then, Peter must live with his grandfather and set the fox free. Narrator Michael Curran-Dorsano recounts their parallel journeys. As he exists in the wild, Pax questions domesticity. Peter begins as a submissive boy bent on staying safe, but Curran-Dorsano hints at dark feelings that lurk below his acquiescence. As Peter journeys to find his fox, he becomes the unwilling mentee of Vola, a jaded ex-soldier, who challenges Peter to find his true self. Curran-Dorsano renders Vola's outward harshness and underlying caring. This haunting story about war, sacrifice, and survival has action as well. Curran-Dorsano's pacing quickens into breathlessness in these scenes as he gives them the same fullness he brings to his characterizations. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 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.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from July 1, 2016

    Gr 4-7-Somewhere close, sometime soon, war is coming. Twelve-year-old Peter and his fox, Pax, are forced apart by a father whose noble intentions have devastating results. When Peter's father enlists in the military, he pressures Peter to return Pax to the wild, while Peter is sent 300 miles away to live with his grandfather. Almost immediately, Peter realizes his grave mistake and knows he must get home to Pax. Both boy and fox rely on the kindness of strangers to survive: for Peter, an acerbic veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder; for Pax, a pair of orphan siblings. Pennypacker creates a viscerally affecting story of the impossible nature of war-"Do you think anyone in the history of this world ever set out to fight for the wrong side?"-and the inescapable consequences that befall the youngest and smallest in the wake of death and destruction. The simple title, beyond the name, proves to be an undeniable prayer for peace. Michael Curran-Dorsano's gentle narration, infused with just the right emotional vibrato, magnifies Pennypacker's extraordinary tale with immediacy and impact. VERDICT A must-have for all libraries serving middle grade students. ["With spare, lyrical prose, Pennypacker manages to infuse this tearjerker with a tender hope, showing that peace and love can require just as much sacrifice as war": SLJ 12/15 starred review of the Balzer ] Bray book.]-Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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