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Publisher's Summary

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 300 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....

From best-selling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the essential truths that define us and the devastating costs of war. Pax is destined to become a beloved classic.

©2016 Sara Pennypacker (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

How to you love something that hurts you?

I stayed up nights to listening to it, drawn to the struggle and hoping for an end that no self respecting author would write. An end, that I knew was coming, but hoped wouldn't. It is a beautiful struggle. There are parts I wish were not, but I am not an author, and I'm not qualified to know how a story like this needs to be told to be effective. I want to tell my 8 yr old daughter that life is safe and fair, but to do so would be a lie. We have this luxury of deluding ourselves. I love the story. it breaks my heart, and I don't know that I could listen again, but I'm glad I heard it once.

66 of 66 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Pax needs to be included in MS & HS curricula

What did you love best about Pax?

The poetic storytelling that connects humans and animals and packs a lot of metaphor and relatable content into one tale.

What about Michael Curran-Dorsano’s performance did you like?

I loved everything about the narrator's performance because his tone, cadence and accents felt "warm" and familiar to me.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Many moments moved me and kept me wanting more but certainly the bittersweet end moved me to tears and evoked some powerful feelings about compassion, love, loss and letting go.

Any additional comments?

I will hold Pax and his boy Peter in my heart forever. This audiobook is merely a little over 5 hours long, yet, it managed to leave its imprint in my heart and memory. It's a rare thing when a book will do that to you. Diablomon!!

58 of 58 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written: friendship, loss, growth

I was drawn by the cover and blurb of this title. I had hoped it would be good for my grandchildren to listen to but I think they would have to be middle grade and up.

Peter has raised Pax since a young kit who lost his parents. Peter is now 12 and his father has enlisted in the military to help protect the homeland. His father insists that Pax be dropped off in the woods as he delivers Peter to another town to live with his grandfather while father is away a war.

After arriving at his Grandfather’s Peter realizes what a mistake it was to have left Pax behind. He takes his backpack and a few supplies to return to the woods to get his beloved Pax. Two hundred or so miles away, Pax waits at the edge of the woods for ‘his boy’ to return for him. Finally, the little fox must move to find water and food. Pax meets a vixen and her little brother. The young kit is thrilled to play with Pax but the vixen smells humans on Pax and wants nothing to do with him. Pax makes friends with an older fox who agrees to travel with him to try to go back home to meet with Peter.

Peter meets a gruff female who lives a secluded life. She was traumatized by her experience as a soldier and withdrew from society. She isn’t thrilled to have a young boy show up in her barn but she can’t send him back out without helping him.

The story is told in alternating views for Peter and Pax. They both run across obstacles and dangers along their journey to find each other. I really liked the warm bond between Peter and Pax. They grow in their new situations and they find friends to help them and whom they help. The author uses the story to comment on war, love, injury, society, friendship and even environmental issues. I liked how it makes the reader/listener think about our behavior towards each other and nature.

The reason I hesitate to recommend this for younger listeners is because there is death and loss that might be difficult without parental guidance. Not that the young haven’t dealt with these issues before in classics like Old Yeller, The Yearling and even Bambi, Dumbo and the Lion King. I found the story beautifully written, engaging and sweet. I do recommend it - perhaps for family listening.

Audio Notes: Michael Curran-Dorsano does a wonderful job with the narration. He captures the feelings of Peter and Pax, as well other characters. His narration pulled me in and kept me listening. The narration enhanced my enjoyment of this story.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great audio read!

I listened to this audiobook with my 8 year old son while we traveled in the car over the holidays. He engaged with the characters in the story. By the end he wanted to know if there was a another book because he wants Pax's adventures to continue... 😀

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Roo .S. 8/23/18

I loved it I listen to it every night I go to bed it was an awesome story

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story,excellent performance

My two boys and I loved this story and could not put it down. It leaves the listener with much to ponder about how we treat each other and how we treat nature.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • SydSavvy
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 02-13-16

Wonderful

The world has a brand new come of age - Boy and his wild rescue story. Excellent writing, immersive world. Loved every second of it, don't let this one slip past you or the kids in your life.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dark and serious

I had heard great things about this book and I bought the audio version of it to see if it might be a good gift for my 9 year old niece. It is recommended for the 8-12 age range. There are a lot of really serious and frankly depressing topics covered in this book - war, death, abandonment, anger, trauma, violence. There are also quite a few really inspiring themes - bonds of love, standing up for what you know to be right, working hard for important things, and learning to deal with the bad things that happen to you instead of stuffing them down inside.

In the end I decided that the heaviness of the story was not what I wanted for a gift for my niece, but the well-written story of a boy's journey to do right by his beloved animal companion will stay with me for a while, and I am glad to have listened to it. My eyes misted over more than once listening to this book, and I think it might be a little too much for my tenderhearted niece to handle.

One last practical note - I found the narration to be a bit slow, and speeding up the playback to 1.25x made it a lot more listenable for me.

33 of 37 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great children's book!

Someone recommended this book to me because my son's name is Pax, and I am so glad she did! It's a very heartwarming story that addresses tough topics. I will definitely have my Pax read this when he is older.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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My grandkids loved it!

I downloaded this book for 2 of my grandkids & I to listen on the road to my house, a 6-8 hour drive. These 2 are 9 & almost 6. We listened all the way home. Both kids stayed vet engrossed in the story. Because the book was longer than the drive we had not finished the book at our arrival to the ranch. About a week into their stay, even with the addition of their 9 year old cousin, they asked to finish the book to find out what happened to Pax!
This story is both heartwarming & heartbreaking. My older granddaughter cried at the ending. We all enjoyed this book immensely.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful