Pax by Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen
Pax, a fox, and Peter, a 12 year old boy are inseparable. Pax was rescued as a two week old kit and raised by Peter. Both boy and fox depend on each other totally. When war breaks out, Peter’s father enlists. He takes Pax back to the wild and Peter to his grandfather’s house 300 miles away. Peter stays less than a day, not even through the first night. Peter’s one thought is to get back to Pax, who he loves more than anything, and who he knows cannot survive in the wild because he doesn’t know how. He sets off with what he thinks are the tools necessary to survive a 300 mile walk. Pax has to learn how to feed himself and how to convince the animals he encounters that he is ‘good’ despite smelling like a human. As the distance between them closes both fox and boy learn the hardest of life lessons.
This is a story of self-discovery and growth and the parallels in the lives of both Pax and Peter could keep a classroom teacher busy for a month. The parallels and comparisons between child and fox are there but subtle enough they won’t hit you in the face with obvious, making this story one that creeps up on you even when you aren’t reading it.