Peter is very attached to his pet fox, Pax. He has raised him since he was a pup, and Pax has been his only emotional support since his mother's death. When Peter's cold and harsh father is called up to fight in a war, Peter is sent to his paternal grandfather's house. On the way, Peter is forced to leave Pax in the wild. As soon as he arrives at his grandfather's house, Peter regrets letting Pax go and vows to return and save him. He runs away from home, but hasn't gone far when he breaks his leg. He meets a reclusive woman veteran with PTSD and she helps him in his quest to find his pet. In the mean time, Pax is adjusting to living in the wild for the first time. The chapters alternate between Peter's experience and Pax's.
This book is getting a lot of attention and starred reviews. I have liked a lot of what Pennypacker has done before but I did not like this book at all. I am just not a pet lover, and the thought of an adult letting a child go into a war zone on the slim chance that he can find an animal that never really was domesticated in the first place just made me angry instead of sympathetic. No pet is worth it. Drive the boy to where he left the animal and help him look for it or take the boy back to his grandfather and let him learn to deal with loss, don't make him a homemade cast and crutch and then send him on a 40 mile hike just days after he has broken his leg. I was so distracted by the stupidity of it I wasn't able to really tell if the writing was good or not. That said, I am sure that there are some people and some children who would love this book. (The same ones who loved Shilo and Lassie and The Call of the Wild the other books I didn't like). 276 p.