I anxiously awaited the release of Pax by Sara Pennypacker and the constant positive buzz surrounding this middle grade novel is no surprise. A touching story about the strong bond between a boy and his pet fox, Pax. Peter found Pax as an orphaned kit and after five years is forced to return him to the wild and move 300 miles away to stay with his grandpa while his father, his only surviving parent, serves in the war. Soon after arriving, Peter is distraught over what will happen to Pax and feels terribly guilty for leaving him the way he did, so he decides to hike back home and reunite with his beloved pet. Each chapter alternates between Peter's point of view and that of Pax. This book does contain some graphic violence during a flashback scene involving a fox in a claw trap, and later in the story when a young fox is maimed by a landmine and survives...but it's nothing a fifth grader can't handle. If you have an extra sensitive student, it wouldn't hurt to discuss the events with them so they can make a judgement of their own whether or not to read it (the first incident is chapter 11, page 90-93 and the second is at the end of chapter 19, page 182 and 183) This novel has all of the elements of an award winning star: it's very well written, full of emotional connection to the characters and a page turning story you want to finish but never end.