Sunday, October 2, 2016

Mini Reviews: Beloved Animals

Pax by Sara Pennypacker is written for older elementary school readers. I thought it was 'Gary Paulson meets Watership Down" as it combined the elements of adventure and an intrepid boy and a story of the world seen through the eyes of a fox.

Peter's father is going to war and Peter cannot take his pet fox Pax to his grandfather's home. But after leaving Pax behind Peter's feelings of responsibility and deep connection drive him to return to find Pax. Peter's ardous journey teaches him about life; meanwhile Pax finds acceptance in the wild and learns to be in community.

Behind the sweet story lurks humanity's destruction of war. Peter finds help from a war wounded vet who teaches him to seek his own answers while she learns acceptence from Peter.

My son would have loved this book as a child. Peter's lessons of resilency and Pax's adaptation to the wild offers adventure and philosophy; it is also the heart warming story of love between two souls.

I read this book through Overdrive.

Sirius: A Novel About a Dog Who Changed History by Jonathan Crown is a alternate history fantasy/satire set during WWII.

Levin the terrier is an unusual dog who understands multiple languages. Under Hitler's regeim his family renames him Sirius to hide his 'Jewish' heritage. The family escapes Nazi Germany (with the help of Peter Lorre!) and land in Hollywood where Sirius is 'discovered' and becomes a cinema star known as Hercules. After hobnobbing with the stars Sirius is loaned to the Ringling Brothers Circus. By accident during a time machine act Sirius is confused with another dog---and ends up back in Berlin! He takes on the German persona of Hansi, soon the beloved pet of Herr Hitler himself, allowing Sirius to become the ultimate spy for the resistence.

Sirius is a wonderful character who will have you rooting for him all the way. The story is completely unbelieveable, hilarious, reading like a graphic novel or Hollywood Golden Age movie. Who would have thought that the Holocaust could be so much fun?

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Jonathan Crown
Publication Date October 4, 2016
$25 hard cover
ISBN: 9781501144998

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