I have been desperate for a sequel to Pax. Although the ending of the first book was just about perfect I wanted to know what would happen next to the characters and where their individual lives would lead them. Just like the first book, Sara Pennypacker delivers another gorgeously written read that tugs at the heart strings and is beautifully illustrated by Jon Klassen. I strongly advise having a box of tissues close at hand as tears will be wept.
It has been a year since the war ended and everyone is bearing the scars. After an emotional separation, Peter and Pax are now living separate lives; Pax in an abandoned farm with his pack-mates Bristle, Runt and three newly born kits, Peter in the woods with Vola.
Carrying the heavy burden of losses and wracked with guilt, Peter has decided to leave Vola and join the Water Warriors, a group of do-gooders who clean up the water that was polluted by the war machines. Pax is on his own journey, to find food for the kits who are in desperate need.
Hardened by a cruel world and the losses he has suffered, Peter is unwilling to care or love anything or anyone again. But when Pax comes calling for help, Peter finds out just how hard it is to keep love out…
Touching, tender and bursting with emotion, Pax, Journey Home is a story about love and trust, forgiveness and overcoming grief, the healing and mending of broken hearts, and ultimately new beginnings. We all experience losses of those we love and care about in life but the story of Peter and Pax is a reminder to us all that it is richer to have loved, lost and grieved than to have never loved at all. It is important for us all to have things to care about, be it other humans or animals.
The stories of Pax and Peter are moving, real and connect with the reader emotionally. Told from alternating perspectives, the journeys of fox and boy are emotional roller coasters of twists and turns. A fox who is protective of his family and recognises that the answer to his problem is to find the boy that once saved him. A boy who is determined to isolate himself from the world and to not let anyone close ever again. One needs healing, the other needs help. Can Peter’s stone heart find warmth again? Will Pax and his family survive? Will boy and fox rediscover each other? Will everyone get that they need?
Heart-breaking and heart-warming in equal measure, Pax, Journey Home has definitely been worth the wait.
Recommended for 9+.
With thanks to Sara Pennypacker and HarperCollins for the advanced reader copy that was received through NetGalley.