Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pax” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.04  ·  Rating details ·  23,551 ratings  ·  4,156 reviews
Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. Peter listens to his stern father—as he usually does—and throws Pax’s favorite toy so ...more
Kindle Edition, 289 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by HarperCollins
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pax, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rebecca There is some mature content (violence, death) and vocabulary but if an adult & child are reading it together, I'd agree with the 8-12…moreThere is some mature content (violence, death) and vocabulary but if an adult & child are reading it together, I'd agree with the 8-12 recommendation. I'm reading it with a second grader and we're taking time to discuss the complexities and to talk about the harrowing parts of the drama. As a librarian and parent, I'll recommend it to adults's a beautiful story.(less)
Megan In this scene, Pax is watching bluejays fly in the sky. The electric-blue wedge is the bird, which he's looking for one last time before he moves…moreIn this scene, Pax is watching bluejays fly in the sky. The electric-blue wedge is the bird, which he's looking for one last time before he moves away.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,551 ratings  ·  4,156 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: les-animaux
congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best middle grade and children's category 2016!

when i first saw this book advertised at BEA, i did an anticipation-dance while drooling over that cover. it was a very messy dance, like a drunken sprinkler, and i guess it dizzied me into thinking this was a picture book. i couldn't wait to get my hands on it, and the day it came out i barreled straight over to the kids department and after rerouting myself from the picture book section, i grabbed a copy
Emily May
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, childrens
2 1/2 stars.

My ultimate weakness is animal stories.

I'm not much of a book crier, to be honest. If you pack the emotional punches in a non-manipulative way, then you might get a sniffle or a watery sheen over my eyes. But if you want to make me sob, go for the animals. Especially animals that look like this:

Yes, I'm shallow like that. I still think this is the saddest, most awful thing I've ever seen in a movie/book/tv show.

What I'm saying is: I went into Pax expecting to have my heart ripped ou
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Twelve-year-old Peter's greatest companion is his fox, Pax. When they are divided by necessity in preparation for impending war, Peter's need for his fox and his regret over the way they were separated is so great that he embarks on a difficult journey to be reunited with Pax. Meanwhile, Pax must learn to fend for himself in the wild, a new and foreign terrain he's entirely unfamiliar with. The destruction
Charlotte May

“The plain truth can be the hardest thing to see when it’s about yourself. If you don’t want to know the truth, you’ll do anything to disguise it.”

3.5 stars ⭐

This was a really sweet book. Peter and Pax have been best friends since Peter saved Pax as a cub. When the war strikes and Peter’s dad enlists, he is sent to live with his grandfather, but Pax can’t come. He is abandoned on the side of the road, his favourite toy thrown into the woods, in the hope he will follow it in.
However, Peter is
Kayla Dawn
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
A beautiful book, especially the illustrations were awesome. I absolutely adored the style and they helped building the atmosphere a lot.

*potential spoiler ahead*

I definitely get why some people are disappointed by that ending but I actually felt like it was the right thing to do.
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book. Oh my. This story broke my heart and then healed it too. A beautiful beautiful story.
Brandy Painter
2.5 stars

Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I was really hoping that 2016 would be different than 2015 when it came to me and super hyped beloved by the kidlit powers that be MG books. If Pax by Sara Pennypacker is any indication, I'm still going to be one of the minority dissenters. So be it. Honestly, I could write an entire post about the sort of books that get the most attention and promotion from said powers and what that says about the priorities of the kidlit elite,
Lauren Danton
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the feels! All of them!
I haven't loved a kids book the way I love Pax in a very long time. Brought me back to watching (and sobbing through) Homeward Bound as a kid.
This journey is told through the eyes of Pax and his human, Peter, as they go through feats to find one another.
This story is simple and complex all at once and has deeper issues than just finding a beloved pet. It will appeal to kids and satisfy adults as well.
Susan Kennedy
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What a great story about a boy and his fox. Pax was taken in as a kit by his boy. After five years his father makes him leave the fox in the woods saying it is because of the war. His heart is broken and this book is about both their journeys. You alternate between the story of the fox and the story of the boy. It is a very heartfelt story that I didn't want to stop. Beautifully written and full of emotion, the characters were wonderful and you rooted them on. This is a pretty short read and I w ...more
Not really sure how I feel. On the one hand, this is a beautifully written, beautifully illustrated, book.

On the other hand, who is it for?

It's violent in places, even gross, with animals being killed and having body parts blown off. Because it's about war, and the horrors of war, but war that takes place . . . where? And when? So in a way it's sort of a fairy tale, or cautionary tale. But my kids had trouble following it because they were trying to figure out: is this WWII? Is this now, in th
H.L. Burke
Jun 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book started out with a lot of promise to me. I had been eyeing it on the self of my local library for a long time, but finally decided to pick it up this last week because that is a beautiful cover, and the first chapter is beautifully written. I'd say any time we are in the fox's POV it is beautifully written, honestly, and there are places in the boy's POV that are good too ... but the further I got into this story the more frustrated I got. The message is pretty heavy handed, and it's n ...more
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book for review, and then proceeded to read the entire book in one sitting. This is one of the most remarkable books, let alone middle-grade reader books, that I've read in a very long time. Pennypacker's prose is crystalline, surprising, and utterly lovely as she bounds from Pax's perspective to Peter's, and back again. I so appreciate that even though this book is "for younger reader's," she doesn't condescend to them in the slightest; she raised the ...more
Chihoe Ho
With the seemingly universal love for Pax, I feel like I'll be left out to the coyotes with the rating I'm giving it. I was left underwhelmed by the book in general – it seemed to stall at very specific points, both in the plot and setting, and while it hit the sentimental notes of the bonds between man and furry friend, I was left wanting more of an emotional punch to the gut. The narrative voice which switched back and forth between Peter the boy and Pax the fox made for some compelling and ch ...more
Jenny Kim
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Based on a reading of an ARC

Let's make 2016, the year of the fox.

I really like the book, it actually reminded me of Pixar’s animations which cater to young and old.

We don’t know the time or place where this story takes place and that seems to be intentional since war affects us all, human and non-humans no matter the age, sex time or which part of the world they reside. The concept itself is not new, but it’s beautifully written and uses the parallel narratives of a 12 years-old boy name Pete
Jo (A follower of wizards)
Being an individual that is rather fond of foxes, I was excited but also apprehensive about reading this book. It was again, initially the beautifully illustrated cover, that attracted me to this book. And throughout the book, there are more of these gorgeous illustrations for us to feast our eyes on.
The story didn't disappoint. It was a story about a boy and his fox. The boy and his fox( Pax) were then split up, and we then experience the journeys that they face, in order to be reunited again.
Aja: The Narcoleptic Ninja
I haven’t written a review about this book yet because I don’t really have anything to say about it. Overall, it was just kind of… meh. It’s disappointing because I expected to like this book or at least be affected by it in some way, but the truth is it didn’t tug at the heartstrings, it didn’t make me cry, and it didn’t really make me react at all.

The book gets kind of repetitive early on. It switches between Peter’s perspective and Pax’s and all the chapters are fairly similar: Peter is toil
The best book I have read in a long, long time. I'll write a review once I finish putting my heart back together. Hoo boy.

Wild and tame, war and peace, anger and love--Pax is a beautiful meditation, almost fable-like, on these interconnected themes. No word is wasted or wanting in the luminous tale of Peter and his fox, Pax and and their converging journeys. Pennypacker masterfully creates emotions that are palpable, like the tension of the father’s simmering anger or Peter’s overwhelming
such!!! a sweet!!! book!!!! ahh!!!!!! my heart is so full and sad that this little story is over.
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter (human) and Pax (fox) have a special relationship, but Peter is forced to abandon Pax. Immediately regretting his decision, Peter decides to rescue Pax and the book is told in alternating chapters about the trials and tribulations of both. Peter breaks his foot, and is nursed both physically and emotionally by the mysterious Vola while Pax finds a young and old fox friend, who help him survive in the wild. I think the book's portrayal of humans was pretty harsh, but accurate. The ending wa ...more
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So which is it? You going back for your home or for your pet? They're the same thing, Peter said, the answer sudden and sure, although a surprise to him.

A heart-warming, rewarding novel, everybody should reach for. I recommend it not only to youngsters who saw the fox on the cover and immediately fell in love, but also to those, who are looking for a novel not only decorated with friendship and love, despite all obstacles, but also about acceptance and loss and most of all, an adventure.

A very
Mary Ann
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A boy. A fox. Inseparable, until they are suddenly torn 300 miles apart. Told in the alternating voices of Peter and Pax the fox, this is a story of the friendship between a child and an animal, a story full of love, loyalty and determination, a story about how grief, war and anxiety can take deep root but how friendship can help you find peace within.

I've just finished this and, oh my, how the themes are vibrating in my mind and soul. Loyalty, friendship, family, anxiety, fear, determination, g
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beatiful yet both heart-wrenching and heart-breaking masterpiece.

My heart starts to swollen from the very first page till the end of it. I surely recommend for those who love animals to read this masterpiece......and I highly won't recommend for those who had a fragile heart to read it....
Amber Myott
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I avoided reading this book for awhile because I knew it would break my heart ( yes it did !) while it is a children’s book as an adult I found it a beautiful read . I loved the chapters from the fox’s perspective .... we have a lot to learn .
"How many kids this week, he wondered, had woken up this week to find their worlds had changed...? Their parents gone off to war, maybe never coming home. That was the worst, of course. But what about the smaller loses? How many kids missed their older brothers or sisters for months at a time? How many friends had to say good-bye? How many kids went hungry? How many had to move? How many pets had they have to leave behind to fend for themselves? And why didn't anyone count those things? People s ...more
Jul 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ylenia by: Adriana
The Pokemon Indigo League #ReadThemAllThon
The Pokemon Indigo League #ReadThemAllThon - 14th of August to 4th September 2016.
Cerulean Gym: A Book That Might Make You Cry.
*image credits*

More on my Instagram

The real question is: did I cry? No, not really. I was expecting a lot of ugly crying and tears but it didn't happen.

Three things that affected my reading experience:
◆ I didn't have any time to dedicate to this book, or books in general, because I was working 10 hours per day for a week;
◆ I was always tired and / or in a bad mood be
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well written, I suppose, but I was disappointed when I learned this is not just about a boy separated from his pet fox, but is also a middle grade grief book. I'm just so sick of that storyline! Then, on top of my disgust over that well-worn path for character development and plot tension, the sadness of Peter leaving Pax and Pax's struggle to survive made this a book that I had a hard time enjoying. Going into this knowing it was an animal book made me expect sadness, of course, but I think you ...more
Murf the Surf
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dyableman of a good time with Pax and his Boy

This is a fabulous story about a boy and his fox. It must be noted here that Pax means peace in Latin, and that war is an ever present danger in the main plot. Dyableman! was a word that popped up often as an esoteric way of exclaiming alarm at something in life. The boys father goes into the war without much care for his son who runs away; In doing so, he looses his fox and runs into an olds female war vet. She teaches him to survive and fixes his tw
Richie Partington
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Richie’s Picks: PAX by Sara Pennypacker, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, February 2016, 304p, ISBN: 978-0-06-237701-2

“Oh you know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today”
--Marvin Gaye (1971)

“Had the nice therapist known all along he’d been angry that last day, that he’d done something terrible? That as punishment, his mother hadn’t taken him to the store? And did she blame him for what happened?
A week later, Peter had gotten Pax. He’d come across a fox run over by the side of
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audio, hcl, nature
I worked in elementary and middle-school libraries for many years, and when I come across a book as beautifully written as Pax it makes me wish I was back there to get this book into as many readers' hands as possible.

Pax is a fox who was rescued by twelve-year-old Peter when he was an orphaned kit. Peter himself was grieving his own mother's death, but boy and fox grow and heal together. Peter is forced to return Pax to the wild when his father heads to the front lines of the approaching bruta
Edward Sullivan
An exquisitely written, beautifully told, heartfelt and poignant tale. A genuine masterpiece.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Pax [Jul 5, 2019] 50 27 Jul 20, 2019 05:10AM  
Great Middle Grad...: Has anyone read Pax? 9 57 Jul 03, 2019 06:48AM  
Goodreads Choice ...: Pax - September 2017 2 30 Sep 01, 2017 12:33PM  
Setting 10 54 Jul 12, 2017 02:05PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
  • Maybe a Fox
  • Ms. Bixby's Last Day
  • Garvey's Choice
  • Full of Beans
  • The Best Man
  • The Parker Inheritance
  • Nuts to You
  • Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer (Unusual Chickens #1)
  • Hello, Universe
  • Me and Marvin Gardens
  • The Story of Diva and Flea
  • The Wild Robot (The Wild Robot, #1)
  • Front Desk
  • Some Kind of Courage
  • As Brave As You
  • Gertie's Leap to Greatness
  • Harbor Me
See similar books…
“Because I am exactly where I should be, doing exactly what I should be doing. That is peace.” 37 likes
“The plain truth can be the hardest thing to see when it's about yourself. If you don't want to know the truth, you'll do anything to disguise it.” 22 likes
More quotes…