Great Middle Grade Reads discussion

This topic is about Pax

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Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1612 comments Mod
I listened to this last week, having checked it out from the library in a quick grab, and I'm still not sure what I think of it. It wasn't what I expected, and in the end I had to feel it's maybe more of a morality tale (or a cautionary tale?) than anything like what I expected from the blurb.

Part of what threw me was that the blurb didn't give any indication that the setting is not quite real--it's an undefined time and place with war happening right there. Feels like the US, but it's no historical time.

Anyway, I can't quite make up my mind what I think of it, so I thought I'd see if any of you have read it. I'm not even sure it's really an appropriate middle grade book.

Sandy Brehl (sandybrehl) | 40 comments Oh, my, I have NO ambiguity about this. The writing itself is like music to my mind and heart, and the voices (both human and fox) are so intensely, gently, fearfully true that I can still hear them long after my last read.
It is VERY appropriate for MG kids, including those who are tough and those who are tenderhearted and usually unwilling to read books with heartbreak and animals. Count me among the latter, but I have no regrets about reading it and young readers often recommend it to others a favorite "of all time".

Disclaimer- I read it, not listened to the audiobook- no idea of that quality.

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Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1612 comments Mod
Sandy, the audiobook was very good. Maybe too good--sometimes when it's read aloud, the feelings come through stronger.

My questions about middle-grade appropriateness came from the fairly graphic descriptions of animals killed and maimed by the war. On the other hand, that's probably a gentler way of reminding people of the reality of war than showing people in the same condition--which is what war does.

I agree about the quality of the writing. That was what kept me going, even when the story itself was bugging me.

I realize the other part of what bugged me was the anthropomorphism of the animals. Going inside their heads and attributing rather human thoughts and feelings to them makes me uneasy. On the other hand, it's a good way of showing that animals do have thoughts and feelings (we just can't know what they look like, really).

Cindy Wise | 32 comments I don't think its too graphic either.

I read Pax upon a recommendation of a 7th grade student who had enjoyed it with his class as a 6th grader. Many students since then have reported reading it as 5th or 6th graders-so maybe its more for upper elementary. I agree with Sandy, it's beautifully written and it reminded me of the stories about the relationships between kids and their animals. Just how important they can be. Rascal was one of my favorites growing up.

I didn't have a problem being in the fox's mind. My only gripe was a too "abrupt" ending.

message 5: by Gianna (new)

Gianna | 3 comments I have never read or heard about it. What is it about?

Cindy Wise | 32 comments Here's the goodreads summary:
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 soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax.

message 7: by Gianna (new)

Gianna | 3 comments It sounds amazing!!!!!!!! I have to pick it up!!

message 8: by Rue2 (new) - added it

Rue2 | 13 comments Oh gosh, I’ve been wanting to read this for like 2 years or more!!! I don’t know why I haven’t!!! 😂 #bookproblems

Lyndsay | 1 comments I liked this book until the end. The ending completely changed how I felt about the entire book. I was not a fan at all.

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