Peter has an unusual pet. He rescued Pax as a kit, and raised him into the fox he is today.
But Peter’s father enlisted in the military to fight in the war, so Peter has to go live with Grandfather. Peter’s father insists Grandfather will not want a pet fox, and forces Peter to release Pax into the wild.
Author Sara Pennypacker writes Pax from two points of view – that of Pax, the fox, and Peter, the boy. It is an unusual storytelling style, and very effective. As I listened to the audiobook (performed beautifully by Michael Curran-Dorsano), I kept trying to figure out where this book was set – which country? America? Somewhere in Europe? And during which war?
Trust me. Don’t try. Pennypacker is deliberately vague about the location and time, other than rivers, woods, small towns and remote farmhouses. All of which puts the focus deliberately on Peter, Pax, and the friends they meet as they attempt to reunite in the middle of a war.
That war does make this book inappropriate for children under 10. And for particularly sensitive children, adults may want to read it aloud and so be able to process through some of the difficult topics (a stag killed by an exploding mine; a woman who lost her leg in a war and killed a man, etc.)
Highly recommended for ages 10 and up.