Five alarm snot bomb, this book is so good and so sad. Pax, a sweet fox, grew up with his boy Peter, who found him in his den after his mother died and raised him. They were inseparable, until one day Peter’s father joins the war and sends Peter to live with his grandfather, leaving Pax out in the woods to fend for himself. Peter quickly finds he can’t live with leaving Pax all alone, and sets off to find the little fox.
Peter and Pax have a beautiful friendship. I immediately connected with Peter and his longing for his lost pet (I just lost my dog this week in the woods and am so worried about him). I also was very invested in all of the side characters in this book, and fell in love with the foxes’ narrative. Peter made a beautiful friend, and I loved that he learned from her just as she learned from him. It’s so important to have books where the adults learn from the kids to boost self confidence in youth. I learn from the kids I teach all the time!
The ending was a bit abrupt, which is my only criticism of this beautiful novel. It wasn’t particularly sad, and I suppose it made sense, it just felt anti-climatic and trivial compared to the rest of the story. I get it, endings are hard to work into the story. I have never been able to write a satisfactory conclusion, and therefore always have immense respect for those who pull it off. I suppose the endings have a lot to do with the overall plot of the story, and some are easier than others. However, the journey was well worth the read, even with the disappointing ending.