Pax - book cover
Growing Up & Facts of Life
  • Publisher : Balzer + Bray; Illustrated edition
  • Published : 02 Apr 2019
  • Pages : 304
  • ISBN-10 : 0062377027
  • ISBN-13 : 9780062377029
  • Language : English


New York Times Bestseller * National Book Award Longlist 

Finally in paperback! This handsome edition features French flaps.

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. . . .

Pax is a wonderful choice for independent reading, sharing in the classroom, homeschooling, and book groups.

Plus, don't miss Pax, Journey Home, the sequel to the award-winning and modern classic Pax.

Editorial Reviews

"Pax the book is like Pax the fox: half wild and wholly beautiful." -- New York Times Book Review

"Moving and poetic." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Pennypacker's expert, evenhanded storytelling reveals stunning depth in a relatively small package." -- Booklist (starred review)

"In an exceptionally powerful, if grim story, Pennypacker does a remarkable job of conveying the gritty perspective of a sheltered animal that must instantly learn to live in the wild." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A startling work of fiction that should be read-and discussed-by children and adults alike." -- School Library Journal (starred review)

"An emotional, thought-provoking story of conflict, loyalty, and love." -- The Horn Book

"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." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"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." -- Time magazine

"Searingly honest and heartbreakingly lovely, Pax is, quite simply, a masterpiece." -- Katherine Applegate, Newbery Award-winning author of The One and Only Ivan

"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." -- Ann M. Martin, Newbery Honoree, author of Rain Reign

"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." -- Columbus Dispatch

"Both boy and fox experience the kindness of others even with the backdrop of imminent war." Recommended 2016 Holiday Gift for Tween Readers -- Brightly

"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 -- Entertainment Weekly

Readers Top Reviews

RosePavDan ThompsonC
I've been a teacher for 13 years and I'm currently teaching 4th grade. I chose this book because of my love for animals. This book was introduced to me through the Global Read Aloud (GRA). My students loved this book and so did I. It teaches of responsibility, courage, love, and sacrifice. I hated for the book to end😕.
Movie Lover
A truly beautiful book however I think kids should be over 10 prior to reading it. It's message is powerful and at times very unsettling. I loved it and am wildly thinking of people I can buy it for (both adults and chikdren)
Targeted at the 8 – 12 year old group, Sara Pennypacker’s latest novel “Pax” is a book that carries universal truths and one that will touch readers of any age. Illustrated by Jon Klassen, the pen and ink drawings contained in the book enhance the story, strengthening the overall impact of the passages associated with each specific drawing. Set in an unidentified country during an unspecified time, “Pax” serves to remind readers that war and destruction may affect anyone – or anything. Twelve-year old Peter has cared for his pet fox, “Pax”, for five years. Orphaned as a kit, “Pax” is now as domesticated as any wild animal can be; he has never had to survive in the wild. “…distrust is no match for kindness administered consistently and unmeasured …” Having enlisted in the army, Peter’s father takes his son to live with his grandfather and demands that Peter release “Pax” back into the wild. Knowing Peter would not abandon him “Pax” waits patiently for his return. “…Pax would stay …ignore all temptations …until his boy came for him …” Haunted by his belief he has betrayed “Pax”, Peter leaves his grandfather’s home to recover his pet. A broken leg, an encounter with an amputee-veteran whose unnamed war occurred twenty years previously, and a realization – by both Peter and “Pax” – that each must be true to his own nature creates an emotional, poignant story that will touch your heart. Writing in the third person voice, Sara Pennypacker alternates the focus of “Pax” between developments affecting Peter and those in which “Pax” learns what it is to be a fox. Each chapter remains true to the focal character. In Peter’s, the reader learns about his life and his past. "…if he could visit the kind-eyed therapist, he’s smash those toy cars …Just to make everybody see …” The reader also watches Peter grow in his understanding of himself and of others. Talking to his benefactor about her war experience, Peter empathizes with her emotional state and begins to formulate a plan that will free her from her self-imposed exile. In Pax’s chapters, the narrative does not humanize the animals but remains realistic when it details the actions and responses to their surroundings. By Sara Pennypacker doing so, those portions of the narrative seems less fictitious and more like an appealing nature documentary. In both characters’ chapters, the horrors and the impact of war overshadow the narrative. One of Jon Klassen’s drawings, shown on pages 164 and 165, is quite memorable. The shadowing and use of contrasting white ”rain” against the darker background drawing is the strongest in terms of atmosphere and locale. “Pax” is a novel that will touch your heart. It is suitable for the target age group as well as anyone who loves an outstanding story. I recommend that parents or grandparents read “Pax” before sharing it wi...
One of the best books I've read in my life. I bought it for my daughter and chose to "pre read" it for appropriateness.... Made my husband read it before we passed it on to the kids. We both agree it will be a classic. Do not second guess this purchase! Beautifully written. The perfect hero's adventure, in Joseph Campbell's words. When my 8 year old finished it, tears were pouring down her face, and when I started to wonder if I should have let her read it, she described how much she loved the characters and how sad she was the story was over. Truly wonderful read.
David Spisak
I'm an almost 60 year old man. My wife bought this book from because I love foxes. It's a beautifully written story. Have a box of tissues nearby. It has a proper ending. I won't say anything else about the story other than I enjoyed the journey immensely.

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