I don’t really do animal books. As anyone who has heard me tell the tale of how The One and Only Ivan was selected for GRA 2012, they will know that when a book features an animal I tend to take a very long time to even pick it up. If a book gets a lot of hype, it sometimes takes me much longer. So when Pax by Sara Pennypacker, yes, the Sara Pennypacker of Clementine amazingness, was brought to my attention I gladly put it in my to-be-read pile. And then promptly avoided it for a month. After all, a book about a fox and boy – wasn’t that just a new version of Where the Red Fern Grows?
Yet last night, after finishing Touching Spirit Bear, I figured I may as well keep this animal trend going and I settled in to this tale of a boy and his fox and the world that separates them. And I read for 3 hours. And I stayed up too late. And this morning I slipped it in my school bag so I could read during my prep, and then I read during my lunch, and then I read after school. And tonight, I finished it and it is so wonderful. So magical. So heart-wrenching. So deep. And all I want to do is to talk about others with it.
And that is why this book is the newest contender for the Global Read Aloud 2016. This book is meant to be read aloud. This book is meant to be shared, to be discussed, to be read to a silent room where students just want you to read just one more page. This book is magic, pure and simple.
So order it now, it comes out February 2, 2016. Read it, hold it close, and then pass it on to as many people as you can. While this is a book that asks you to reflect, it is also a book that begs to be shared. For 4th grade and up, I have a feeling Pax will be a book we remember for a long time to come.