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4.1 14
by Sara Pennypacker, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)

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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


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. . . .

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.)
Booklist (starred review)
“Pennypacker’s expert, evenhanded storytelling reveals stunning depth in a relatively small package.”
Katherine Applegate
“Searingly honest and heartbreakingly lovely, Pax is, quite simply, a masterpiece.”
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.”
New York Times Book Review
“Pax the book is like Pax the fox: half wild and wholly beautiful.”
The Horn Book
“An emotional, thought-provoking story of conflict, loyalty, and love.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
“Both boy and fox experience the kindness of others even with the backdrop of imminent war.” Recommended 2016 Holiday Gift for Tween Readers
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
School Library Journal
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

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.40(d)
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years


Meet 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.

Jon Klassen grew up in Niagara Falls, Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. He is the Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator of I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat, as well as the illustrator of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; The Dark by Lemony Snicket; House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser; Cats' Night Out by Caroline Stutson; and the first three books in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.

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Pax 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for light reading and loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful book filled with learning lessons the hard way and understanding people by sharing their lives. The true feeling given to the reader is if you truly love someone never give up hope that you can help them to shine their brightest and maybe even find happiness yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book that has vlearly been spent time on
Anonymous 11 months ago
I love this book! You need to read it. Pax is a fox whom was adopted by a human. Pax's boys dad enlisted him in the military, so Pax's boy has to go to war, while Pax is out in the forest and meets new friends, and learns what it is like to be a real fox. Read the book and you will LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!! I rate it 5 stars and recommend it to you. So why r u still reading my review?? Get The Book NOW! Love, Lucas
Chancie More than 1 year ago
Cute and very well written with excellent characterization, setting, and themes. A little predictable, but I enjoyed it.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Beautiful, emotive story for everyone! Wow - what an emotively written children’s tale chronicling the amazing friendship between a boy and the fox he brought up, Pax, told from their two points of view. The language used is evocative, making it easy to empathise with both characters as they strive to reunite with each other despite the dangers and turmoil around them. The descriptions from the point of view of the fox, Pax, bring to life in the readers’ imagination just what it must have felt like to be a pet abandoned and left to fend for himself. This book may well be targeted at middle grade readers but it is still one that can be thoroughly enjoyed by adults, too. It could be used in schools as a brilliant example of stories told from different points of view but is a delightful story to read in its own right, and would make a fantastic one for teachers to share with their pupils either as a class or group reader. This is a very memorable story and one I have no hesitation in highly recommending for everyone to read. Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
This is a gem! Don’t let the cover deceive you, for this is a story for all ages to read. From the first chapter, this novel pulled at my heart strings and I knew it would be one that I will be passing on to others. I believe that Pax will soon find itself among those stories that everyone will call their favorite, those stories that we all recall on instinct. There is a connection between a boy and a fox in this story and as I read, I reminisced about reading these types of stories as a child. I would read these stories over and over again for there is something special about these bonds, and reading Pax, I felt this same way, for these types of stories will never leave you. They make their mark on your heart and stay with you forever. Pax will be like Benji, like Charlotte’s Web, and Shiloh, just to name a few, books that leave you with an impression and a book that you will want to read over and over again. Inside these books, you find comfort, excitement and a message that fills you like no other. As I looked back through the novel, I realized the author used many adjectives to describe the world around me. I didn’t realize this as I was reading for I was submerged inside Pax and Peter world and nothing else mattered. Jon provided a few sketched illustrations throughout the novel and for younger children, I believe these illustrations would be helpful but for me, Sara’s words alone had casted a wonderful picture for me to draw upon. This was a brilliant, exhilarating story that I truly enjoyed! He licks his salty tears; he’s there to comfort him but why he is crying he is not sure. The angry voice comes again from the father and the begging voice suddenly appears from the boy. The car stops suddenly and they all step out onto the grass. The boy has the old plastic soldier; it is the fox’s favorite toy and he believes they are going to play his favorite game. As the fox retrieves the soldier, hunting it down after the boy threw it, the fox hears the car doors slam and the humans drive away. The distant sound of “Peter!” and “Pax” is what the fox hears as he tries to grasp what just occurred. After reading this, I knew there was no turning back, my morning was devoted to Peter and Pax. What!?! Why were they being separated? So much is happening now is Peter’s life. He’s being dropped off at his grandfather’s now, his father is headed off to war and he just lost his Pax. Peter is dreading the decision his father made to leave Pax out in the woods. Pax was only a few weeks old when Peter rescued him as a kit and he is scared of what might happen to Pax as he tries to fend for himself out in woods. Peter misses Pax immensely. He knows what he must do. He begins packing for Peter believes it will take him one week to trek the 300 mile to locate him. With alternating viewpoints, we hear as Peter begins walking to the place where they dropped Pax off, just hoping Pax stayed there and is waiting for them. Peter is anxious, worried and in a hurry. As he hurries along, he hurts his foot and his trip is delayed. Pax, himself is experiencing a whole new world, with new smells, different creatures and a broader sense of the world which could lead him into greater danger and newer opportunity. Pax is used to being waited on by Peter and now he must fend for himself. Finding food and water, coexisting with other animals including wolves and foxes, Pax must learn the way of the wild. Separated, their thoughts a
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Citajme-com More than 1 year ago
“Pax”, made by two well-known names- written by bestselling author Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by well-known artist Jon Klassen - is a beautiful story about the friendship between a boy named Peter and his fox Pax, endangered by the devastating war conflict. Pax and Peter are friends since the day when the fox was young, but suddenly bad days are coming and they need to separate - Peter's dad enlists in the military and boy needs to return his friend to the wild. Now, separated by huge distance, both Peter and Pax are feeling miserable and though the dangers of war are all around, Peter decides to embark on the journey to reunite with his only true friend… Sara Pennypacker, known for his “Clementine” series and “Meet the Dullards”, with her latest book delivers a profound and emotional read for younger school children which manages to keep attention through all of his 300 pages. It is a story of friendship, kindness, sacrifice, a wonderful message how important are friends in our lives. Speaking about the artwork, Jon Klassen again produced beautiful illustrations characterized by appealing, though not so usually encountered, use of black and white that makes this book equally enjoyable to read and look. Therefore, “Pax” with its beautiful story and remarkable artwork is work worth of recommendation – a book that would inspire children with its profound lesson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A repetitive book with a very disappointing bad ending.