“There is a disease that strikes foxes sometimes. It causes them to abandon their ways, to attack strangers. War is human sickness like this.”
Shortly after his mother’s death, Peter finds a fox kit and takes it in to care for it, despite his father’s objections. “The boy” and his fox, Pax, grow up together, but when war calls Peter’s father away he is forced to give up the fox in the woods and live with his grandfather. Regret is immediate and Peter makes a decision that changes the lives of everyone around him.
I was heading on a road trip with my daughter and we wanted to find an audiobook to listen to on the drive. I was searching Overdrive for what was available and Pax looked very interesting. We were both captivated by the story while listening and laughed out loud several times.
Peter doesn’t even spend one night at his grandfather’s house before heading out to find his fox – just a couple hundred miles away on foot. He packs gear and only gets a few days into his journey when he hurts his leg so badly that he can’t walk. A woman who is living by herself in the woods takes him in and agrees to help him try to regain his strength. While Peter and the woman find ways to heal each other’s hearts, Pax has found some other foxes and is surviving, but hoping against hope that Peter will come back. Will they find each other before the war creeps right in between them?
Pax is bittersweet, but a wonderful story for young adults. I would recommend it to middle age students and older as it deals with death and war and the heartaches those bring. It’s a story that neither my daughter nor myself will forget for a long time.