Reader Reviewed Pax by Sara Pennypacker


Written by Sara Pennypacker
Illustrated by Jon Klassen

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, March 2016 Touching and thought-provoking this is a lyrically-told story perfectly presented in a beautiful book. Peter’s life falls apart after his mother dies in a car crash. The only thing that makes him happy and keeps him going is Pax, the fox he raises from a kit – and his love of baseball. But when Peter’s father goes off to join in the army, Peter must go and live with his grandfather and return Pax to the wild. Neither Peter, nor Pax can bear the separation; both are determined to be reunited. In two strands, one human and one from an animal perspective, each tells the story of their journey. Both meet danger, kindness, accident. Peter’s human helpers comfort the deep hurt within him as well as setting him on the route home; Pax learns about the complicated and often cruel relationship between humans and animals, particularly foxes, in the wild. Jon Klassen’s illustrations capture the mood of the story perfectly. ~ Julia Eccleshare

Sara Pennypacker says, “With PAX, I wanted to say something about the unfairness of the damages done to kids when adults wage war, but also something about the amazing and redemptive connections that are possible between young humans and animals. This novel is tremendously important to me —it feels like the book all my other books have been preparing me to write.”

A message from the Editor, Harriet Wilson, “PAX is a modern classic in the making, Sara’s breathtaking and masterful storytelling will stay in your heart for a lifetime.”

Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for March 2016

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar
Spotty Lottie and Me by Richard Byrne
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Beetle Boy by M. G. Leonard
What the Ladybird Heard Next by Julia Donaldson

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Sam Harper, age 11 - 'The heartbreaking story of a boy, a fox and their journeys towards each other which come together in a devastating finale. This is captivating, exciting and very, very sad.'
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 10 - 'A really moving story about a boy and his pet fox. This is on similar lines to War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. Brilliant story. Highly recommend to children and adults!'
  • Emily Price, age 13 - 'Pax is an amazing book and has been my favourite so far.'
  • Oliver Thorpe, age 9 - 'Pax is a gripping read about a boy who during the war is sent to live with his Grandfather, without his pet fox, Pax.  He has to go and find his fox, or what will become of Pax?'
  • George Daniels, age 7 - 'I was hypnotised by this book...Some parts of the book were really heart wrenching, and although I don't like sadness at all I loved the story.'
  • Alex Hall, age 10 - 'This story is full of adventure and shows the friendship of a boy and his pet. It shows the joys of friendship and the upsets of losing something but knowing it is the right thing to do.'
  • Brodie Greenslade, age 10 - 'Pax is an exciting and moving story about the strong bond between a boy and his fox.'
  • Aminah Kauser, age 10 - 'I really enjoyed this book- especially the drawings.'
  • Rosie Watch - 'You were never quite sure of the ending till the very last pages, but it was well worth the wait. A very moving and memorable story.'
  • Nicholas Butler, age 9 - 'This felt like a really 'big read' for someone of my age because of the length of the book...There are some nice bits to the story and the illustrations are lovely.'
  • Sophia Curtis, age 9 - 'A Great book that lots of children would love it especially if they love animals like me! This book was amazing!!!'

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Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Pax was only a kit when his family was killed and he was rescued by 'his boy', Peter. Now the country is at war and when his father enlists, Peter has no choice but to move in with his grandfather. Far worse than leaving home is the fact that he has to leave Pax behind. But before Peter spends even one night under his grandfather's roof he sneaks out into the night, determined to find his beloved friend.

This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their journeys back to each other as war rampages throughout the country.

A profound and moving story with stunning illustrations by award-winning illustrator, Jon Klassen, 'Pax' is destined to become a classic in the vein of 'Charlotte's Web' and 'Watership Down'.


`Pax the book is like Pax the fox: half wild and wholly beautiful.'New York Times (Online)

'A heart wrenching masterpiece about the relationship between a boy and his fox'The Guardian (online)

'A touching story about a boy and his pet, as well as a depection of the devestating and often unseen consequences of war'Book Trust (online)

`A beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox.'Sainsbury's Entertainment (online)

`Every moment in the graceful, fluid narrative is believable ... Moving and poetic.'Kirkus (online)

About the Author

Sara Pennypacker

Sara Pennypacker, author of the Clementine books, was a painter before becoming a writer and has two absolutely fabulous children who are grown now. She has written several books, including Stewart’s Cape and Stewart Goes to School, both illustrated by Martin Matje, and Dumbstruck. When she was in school, she never had any problem at all paying attention. Okay, fine. That last part was about somebody else. Sara lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

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Book Info


288 pages


Sara Pennypacker
More books by Sara Pennypacker

Author's Website


HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

25th February 2016




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