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Author: Sara Pennypacker
Age Range: 8-12 years
Grade Level: 4-7
Pax is the story of a red fox that suddenly finds himself unprepared for life in the wild. Peter, his human boy that adopted Pax as a kit, is forced to leave Pax near the edge of the woods on his way to his grandfather’s house because his father is going to war and they can’t take Pax along. Soon Peter greatly regrets abandoning Pax and sets out with determination to find him. The journey taken by fox and boy to find each other again is long and difficult, but each discover they have strength and courage to overcome their fears and limitations.
Before reading this one with your kids, definitely consider the age recommendation for this book, as well as the emotional sensitivity your child has toward animals in trouble. Pax is not lighthearted reading. There are some very serious situations of war told in the story, but if you are prepared, this can open up a healthy dialogue of discussion.
The story takes off immediately, drawing you into the worlds of Pax and Peter. Chapters alternate between the two characters, so you can experience what each of them are going through in their efforts to find each other again. We learn more about foxes, their behavior, diet and life in the wild. Some of the reading is heartbreaking, but you will find yourself desperately reading on to the end, filled with hope that the pair reunites.
Pax was well written and explores the beautiful bond people can have with their pets. The character traits of determination, persistence, empathy, and loyalty all prevail in this incredible story of a fox and his boy.
Resources for Teaching
- Teaching ideas for in the classroom
- Discussion Guide
- Pax Book Novel Study Guide
- Pax Book Report Form
- Fox Unit Study Lessons and Lapbook Printables
- Talking with Children About War