Written by Sara Pennypacker
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Holding on and letting go are strong desires, flowing under all the plots and subplots of this beautiful story about a boy and his pet fox. When Peter’s father enlists to go off to war, he forces his son to set the fox loose in the wild and go live with a grandfather. It doesn’t take long to realize Peter isn’t wanted by the grandfather.
Within days, Peter realizes he needs to rescue Pax before he starves in the wild. So, he sets off on his own across miles of unknown territory. Without realizing it, he is heading toward the war zone. He encounters many problems, and a very strange woman.
Meanwhile, Pax waits patiently for his boy to come back for him. Finally, unbearable thirst sends him off searching for water. Real wild foxes growl warnings to stay out of their area. Will they accept him?
The adventure with challenges thrown in provides just the right pace of tension and intrigue to the story and will keep the readers flipping pages to find out what happens.
The language of the fox is put into italic font to separate it for young readers.
Black and white sketches by Jon Klassen add to the realities of the starkness of war and separation.
Teachers, librarians and parents will enjoy this novel as a read aloud or book club selection to share with their children.