Pax: Journey Home by Sara Pennypacker, reviewed by Mia and Kate

Mia says:

We received ‘Pax – Journey Home’ to review and so we read Pax first! They really need to be read in order. 
Peter is a young teenager whose mum died when he when seven. He had a pet fox, Pax, who he raised from a kit, but was forced to abandon when his dad went off to war and Peter was sent to his Grandfathers. He then goes on a journey to find Pax.  Along the way, Peter meets a special person who helps him when he gets injured, but who also needs Peter’s help without knowing it. 
Peter later finds Pax, who he realises is better off in the wild. 
In Pax – Journey Home, Peter feels like he loses everyone he loves, thinks things are his fault, and that it is best not to let anyone get close to him or to care about anyone.
Peter travels with the Water Warriors who work hard to put the rivers and reservoirs right after the war poisoned the water, while planning a life alone. Along the way he has to visit places with difficult memories from his past. 
Pax is making a similar journey for his family.

I loved these books. They describe feelings so well. They show how people can change and get over bad times, no matter how old you are. 
I really loved that the chapters alternated between  Peter’s point of view and Pax’s point of view.  
It was really interesting to see the world through the foxes’ eyes; how they would describe the things we do (which can seem really odd); how they sense feelings and danger through smells; and how they’d find our ‘dens’ strange. It also made me think a lot about how destructive people can be to the world and wildlife.
We couldn’t decide when the book is set – past, present or future, but it could be anytime as it is everyone’s life journey that matters.
The books gave us lots to talk about, 
A five star rating from me!

Mum Kate says:
These were wonderful books to read together and I think they’d be a great choice for a class. 
The books deal with a lot of trauma, without being traumatic – they are simply honest, in a very clear way. They offer so much opportunity for discussion about loss, emotions (a lot of anger, fear and sadness), human impact on the world, and connections and bonds. Also, if and when wild animals should be captive. 
The setting both in place and time is hard to gauge which puts more emphasis on the journey and bond of this boy and his fox.
A brilliantly told story which we couldn’t put down, and will revisit.

About the book

From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes the long-awaited sequel to Pax; gorgeously crafted, utterly compelling with stunning illustrations by award-winning author and illustrator Jon Klassen.

It’s been a year since Peter and his pet fox, Pax, have seen each other. Once inseparable, they now lead very different lives. Pax must protect his litter of kits in a dangerous world. Meanwhile Peter, orphaned after the war, has left his adopted home and joined the Water Warriors, a group determined to heal the land from the scars of the war.

When one of Pax’s kits falls desperately ill, he turns to the one human he knows he can trust. And no matter how hard Peter tries to harden his broken heart, love keeps finding a way in. Now both boy and fox find themselves on journeys toward home, healing – and each other.
A breathtaking novel about chosen families and the healing power of love.