Tag Archives: War


Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Upper Elementary/Middle School and up

277 pgs.


Should adults stop talking sometimes and allow children to connect with an animal instead? Peter’s father has his own load of trouble, and anger is one of them.  Things get better when “one little ball of gray fur still warm and breathing” – an abandoned fox kit,  is found by Peter and adopted into the family.

War is encroaching, and Peter’s father signs up to “lay wires”.  The enigma behind this is that no time or place is mentioned, and yet there is a strange home-feel about this war.

This is a great story with a good plot told from Peter and the fox’s separate points of view. The ending does not disappoint either.  One picks up some valuable worldly wisdom along the way, often spoken by Vola who lives alone. “People,” she says, “should tell the truth about what war costs. That’s taken me a long time to figure out.” This is probably what drives the novel and makes it an important book.

I’m not giving any of this story away.  Read it, please.





The Badger Knight

badger knight

by Kathryn Erskine

Grades 6 -9, 352 pages, available as audio

Some kids get off to a rocky start – no question.

A young, medieval archer is determined to prove to his father that he can be independent despite his misunderstood condition of albinism compounded by asthma and the cruel prejudice of his small village. Twelve-year-old Adrian who takes on the name Badger, follows his friend Hugh into battle against the pagan Scots hoping to return him to his family. The story is fast paced with many twists, fascinating characters, and the lead character himself, who is not always so likeable. Badger has much to learn, and these lessons are bitterly difficult.  There is some mild language and understated references to prostitution and violence.  Erskine’s treatment of war made this novel a superlative read for me. This book is a keeper, for sure!