Parents' Guide to


By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Compelling, heartrending story of boy and fox in dystopia.

Pax Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 10+

Beautiful story set during a time of struggle and change

I read this book and the follow-up book Pax, the Journey Home with my 10-year-old son. He is a sensitive person who doesn't like animal death or other scary elements, but we were able to navigate this book together by me reading alongside him. The chapters alternate between the Boy's perspective and the fox Pax's perspective. I read the "boy" chapters and he read the "pax" chapters. These books were exceptional stories that we both enjoyed. Sometimes I needed to stop and answer his questions and help him process what was happening. Yes, the story takes place during a war and the boy abandons his pet fox, Pax. This is important because the whole story revolves around them finding one another again. There are themes of loss, bad people in the world; death; war; abandonment, and struggle. There is also a lot of love, hope, recovery, resilience, and friendship. My son tends to lose interest in books part way through and he wanted to finish both of these books. Highly recommend that you read these two books with your child, we had a very lovely experience.
age 14+

bleakness trumps value

This book features some pretty devastating and violent deaths and maimings of main characters and their families through beatings and land mine explosions. Think red mist. There is also a side story about a woman who has killed a man in war. I do not think this is suitable for 10 year olds and I regret not reading it first which is often my habit, before giving it as a gift to my 10 year old. Your mileage may vary.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (27 ):

Horrific, infuriating, and uplifting by turns, this riveting tale of previously inseparable friends torn apart by war and betrayal will have readers breathless to the last heartrending page. It's not for the faint of heart, depicting a world of horrors that threaten to engulf everything good, kind, and beautiful, making its point with such scenes as a magnificent deer grazing in a meadow and stepping on a land mine.

Appealing black-and-white illustrations by Jon Klassen bring to life the unforgettable protagonists and the complex characters they meet.

Book Details

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