Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. Peter listens to his stern father—as he usually does—and throws Pax’s favorite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax.
I bought this book because there is the cutest picture of a fox on the cover. I also heard amazing things about it, and it was on an employee rec shelf at Parnassus Books in Tennessee… so there were just a lot of things jumping out at me saying BUY THIS BOOK! And there are no regrets.
First chapter is told from Pax’s POV. Yes, the foxes point of view. The book flip flops from fox to boy and it’s magic. But the first chapter is heart destroying. Peter and his father are driving to the woods because Peter has to give Pax up while he goes to live with his grandfather. Having to read Pax sit in the car with his human, who is crying because he about to lose his beloved pet, but there’s nothing Pax can do to comfort him, and then they stop and leave Pax in the woods where he’s retrieving his toy that Peter throws to play fetch with him everyday, IS THE WORST! I know none of that sentence even made any sense, but that’s how my brain feels. I made the mistake of reading this while in public and I was sobbing. I got misty eyed at least once in every chapter. This book is beautifully written and I am going to push it on every fellow fox lover I know.
While I was in the middle of reading Pax I also listened to an audio book for a short story by George Saunders called Fox 8. They both had similar themes, of how us as humans are destroying this planet and the innocent precious beasts that live here, and I love them both so so much. Fox 8 also made me sob like a neglected baby, but for different reasons. Foxes are amazing guys, and I’m now on a mission to find any and every story that has a fox in it, especially if the fox is the MC. So if you have any recs, please leave in the comments 😉
The illustrations are amazing too. Jon Klassen (who I recognized from I Want My Hat Back – cute story) is fantastic! Over all everything about Pax is beautiful and if it wasn’t already obvious I gave it five stars! Read Pax, you will cry, but you won’t regret it.