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by Sarah Pennypacker

Have you ever had a dog?  Can you imagine abandoning it on the side of the road and driving away?  This is what happens to Pax, a tame fox owned by a young boy named Peter.  Forced by his father to give up his pet, Peter is devastated.  His world is turned upside down and he decides to set it right.

We follow Peter on his journey as he makes his way alone through the woods, searching for his lost friend.  Guided by an innate moral compass, he relies on his instinct to help him locate his pet. Simultaneously, we follow Pax, the fox, who must also find his way in an unfamiliar world.  Both young heroes show great mettle, creativity and honour as they strive to recover the one they love the most.

We can all relate to this feeling of being lost and unsure of making the best choices.  How do we know when we are on the right path? Do we have an innate sense of “being in the right place”, as Peter does, or a homing instinct, like Pax?  Or, have we grown too domesticated to respond to our inner wild nature?

Although this is a child’s book, Pennypacker’s story is not childish, nor is her use of language.  The vocabulary would be appropriate for a sixth grader, but the depth and intensity of Peter’s quest are universal.  This is a lovely book, especially for those who like animals, and will resonate with readers of all ages.

Pax by sonja_library