Pax: Journey Home by Sara Pennypacker
If you’ve read Sara Pennypacker’s 2016 novel Pax, then chances are you count it among your favourite reads. Pax is the story about the powerful bond of kinship between a boy called Peter and the eponymous fox he rescues – the sole surviving kit of his pack. As a result of an unnamed war, Peter is forcibly separated from his fox. This opens profound wounds of loss and grief for Peter, and it drives the redemptive story that follows.
In the sequel, Pax: Journey Home, we find Peter still feeling emotionally conflicted and fighting against the instinct to love and connect with those around him. The aftermath of war has left the waterways toxic, and Peter joins a band of environmental warriors to heal the land. Peter takes advantage of the warriors’ nomadic lifestyle to live a more independent life, unbeholden to anyone.
In a parallel story, Pax sets out in search of safer ground and a new home for his pack. When boy and fox cross paths again, the story reaches a crisis point where love, trust and sacrifice meet their ultimate test. This is a worthy sequel that builds on the emotional foundation of the original story, and adds deeper layers of complexity and richness to the much-loved characters. For readers 10+.