Pax (Sara Pennypacker)

Working the last day of term 2018 in the job I love was made all the more enjoyable by a visit from a fellow book loving friend. To my delight she gifted me a book as a festive gift – Pax. Intrigued by this physical recommendation I bumped it up my TBR pile, and this weekend chose it as my current title.

Straight away this book reminded me of The White FoxJackie Morris, as the book was detailing a young boys love of ‘his’ fox he had found, and I was delighted. As the story of Pax continued I realised this was a completely different story to that of The White Fox for many reasons, the most obvious being how heartbreaking this story felt for the majority of the reading, and that War was also featured. As Peter – the main character boy in the book and Pax – the main character Fox became separated I felt compelled to read on in order to find out what fate awaited each of them. I love that the book is written as alternate chapters for both Peter and Pax as this enabled the impact of one characters actions on the others to follow making it easy to navigate between the two roles.

A moment to compose yourself before reading on in this intense story of loss, betrayal, separation, trust, grief and destruction can be found on the pages displaying an illustration by Jon Klassen whos black and white print images give a calming impression of the journey this book has taken us on.

I loved the determination both characters show when faced with such confusion and devastation. That things didn’t go according to plan or straight forward for Peter or Pax helped the book feel more realistic to the everyday setbacks we are all faced with while trying to stay true to ourselves and do the right thing by those we truly love, and this powerful story has left me cherishing the bond between my youngest child and our family dog, realising even more now just how valuable both sides of their relationship are.

Reading Pax has left me feeling more then that I read a heart warming, emotional rollercoaster of a book, I also feel I am more aware of an animals perspective of the negative impact the human race is having on nature and its inhabitants. I have thought of the little red fox Pax a few times since finishing the book – most recently while putting eggs away in my kitchen! and I am sure the story and its characters will frequent my thoughts as time goes on having connected with them so deeply whilst immersed in this phenomenal read.

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