Truly you don't want to miss this one.
Pax is the fox that Peter's father made him give back to nature. Peter is the boy who had to throw the toy soldier knowing Pax would chase after it to retrieve it and bring it back only this time...this time...Peter would not be there waiting. The two friends, the fox and the boy, who loved each other, would be forced to go on their own paths. Pax would return to the world of the wild. Peter would return to the world where his mother was dead, his fox was gone and now the war had taken his father. Now Peter has decided he doesn't ever want to care again.
When life deals you a tough hand and takes everyone you love, every single one, you can be forgiven when you decide you aren't going to care about anyone ever, ever again. You aren't going to let anyone get close to you so you won't have to lose them.
Thirteen-year old Peter has decided to leave Vola, the woman who has cared about him and taken him in since he lost both of his parents. Peter is going to join up with the Water Warriors and work to clean up the water that was poisoned by the heavy metals during the war. He will leave Vola and not have any ties to anyone. He'll be free.
Told in alternating journeys, this is the story of Pax, the fox and Peter, the boy, and how they create the paths of their lives after they don't have each other any more. This is the story of how important it is, how essential it is for all of us to have connections and people and creatures to care about. Peter tries to build his wall high and hard but when you love something, you are so fortunate and so lucky, and that feeling is so strong. It's tough to build a wall that keeps love out. It's hard to run from caring about a living being...including a fox.
Deeply touching, respectful, this journey home takes Pax and Peter through the same forest near the same river but neither knows the other is there. How hard will Peter hold on to his fear of love and trust? Will Pax choose to trust Peter again - ever- after the betrayal?
Everyone of us knows the risk of loving and trusting. Sometimes life hands you a lesson that you have to unlearn.
Take a few hours and venture forth with Peter and with Pax and find your way back to acceptance and love and knowing no one is perfect but that doesn't mean you can't count on them.
Get the tissue box out. These brave, persevering, risk-taking characters will make you shout with joy and blow your nose a few times as you touch the grief you know in your own life. Glorious. Exceptional. Beautiful.
256 pages 978-0062930347 Ages 8-12
Keywords: foxes, family, fathers/sons, loss, grief, betrayal, love, healing, trust, nature, adventure, sequel, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, friends, friendship, connection, relationships
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes the long-awaited sequel to Pax; this is a gorgeously crafted, utterly compelling novel about chosen families and the healing power of love.
It’s been a year since Peter and his pet fox, Pax, have seen each other. Once inseparable, they now lead very different lives.
Pax and his mate, Bristle, have welcomed a litter of kits they must protect in a dangerous world. Meanwhile Peter—newly orphaned after the war, racked with guilt and loneliness—leaves his adopted home with Vola to join the Water Warriors, a group of people determined to heal the land from the scars of the war.
When one of Pax's kits falls desperately ill, he turns to the one human he knows he can trust. And no matter how hard Peter tries to harden his broken heart, love keeps finding a way in. Now both boy and fox find themselves on journeys toward home, healing—and each other, once again.
As he did for Pax, Jon Klassen, New York Times bestseller, Caldecott medalist, and two-time Caldecott Honoree, has created stunning jacket and interior illustrations.---from the publisher