FRIDAY BOOK SHARING!
What are you reading?
Buzzing of bees. It seems that everyone is buzzing…..all about a small red fox named Pax. And let me tell you, Pax is a gem. Really, truly, a gem. This is a must read for 2016. Sara Pennypacker has brought so much into this story; it has depth, beauty, war, peace, loss and hope. It takes place during war time, but the exact setting and time period are not directly mentioned. This adds to the global feel of the novel; it could take place anywhere where there is a war, a boy, and someone he loves. Pax is a red fox, adopted by twelve-year-old Peter, who is forced to abandon Pax and move to his Grandfather’s house more than 300 miles away when war comes upon them. While Peter’s father heads to war, Peter mourns the loss of Pax. And Pax mourns too, confused and lost as to why he is now on his own. The narrative alternates between Pax and Peter, each telling his story as the reader eagerly anticipates a reunion. The characters are complex. The story is certainly a coming of age novel for Peter, but it is so much more than many simpler coming-of-age tales. Peter’s story is one of grief, loyalty, healing, responsibility, determination, patience, and sacrifice. Peter has to think of more than himself, and his own needs, while being patient. He encounters Vola, the other main (human) character, who has much to teach Peter, just as she learns herself along the way, through Peter and his story. It is a difficult journey for Peter, which is one of the strengths of the story. While it may seem unreal to set out traveling 300 miles to find a fox, the emotional journey, the complexity, and the depth of Peter’s emotions are realistic and courageous. This is a middle grade novel, listed for ages 9-13. Readers will find much to discuss and ponder in Peter’s journey and his beautiful relationship with the red fox, Pax.
“So which is it? You going back for your home or for your pet? They’re the same thing, Peter said, the answer sudden and sure, although a surprise to him.” –Pax, by Sara Pennypacker