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اثر سارا پنی پکر از انتشارات پرتقال - مترجم: بهرنگ خسروی-ادبیات آمریکا

هیچ چیز نمی‌تواند «پیتر» و «پَکس» را از هم جدا کند.
هیچ چیز. حتی جنگ!


یک داستان فوق‌العاده درباره‌ی دوستی. مفاهیم عمیقی مثل دوستی انسان و حیوان، پیوند انسان با طبیعت، جنگ و مشکلات ناشی از اون و آزادی همه‌ی موجودات در این کتاب به زیبایی مطرح شده‌اند.


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congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads best middle grade and childrens category 2016!

when i first saw this book advertised at BEA, i did an anticipation-dance while drooling over that cover. it was a very messy dance, like a drunken sprinkler, and i guess it dizzied me into thinking this was a picture book. i couldnt wait to get my hands on it, and the day it came out i barreled straight over to the kids department and after rerouting myself from the picture book section, i grabbed a copy and had to pause for confusion. words?? why so many words?

there are actually very few pictures in here, and there isnt even a fox in all of them, which was kind of disappointing at first, but then i read it and there was no more disappointment. okay, there was significantly less disappointment.

@

this is a powerful story; its harsh, but its honest.

its war and nature and violence and death and love and duty and loyalty and sacrifice. which, to be fair, would have been a lot for a picture book to take on, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

there are some middle grade books that you read when youre a kid that are totally disposable; just reading for readings sake and you forget all about em ten minutes after theyre done. but then there are some that are a little more challenging, that inspire complicated emotions lasting well into adulthood. for me, it was Island of the Blue Dolphins, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Trumpet of the Swan, The Incredible Journey, etc, and i just know that if i were a wee youngun today, this would also become one of those books for me.

its a lovely story about a boy and his pet fox, separated by war, and their struggle to reunite. its tender and sad and fervent emotional stuff. i didnt cry, because thats a rare and beautiful thing, but i got one of those lumps in my throat that was either temporary cancer or feelings.

my roaring about the ending of the book was written immediately after finishing it, and now that i have had a little bit of time to process it, i am somewhat less reactionary. the ending itself is fine - fair and reasonable and not dissimilar to many other books/films of its kind. is it what i wanted to happen? no, but i also didnt want andie to end up with blaine because duh.



but i do feel left in limbo - there are a couple of hanging chads bugging me and preventing me from a full-on embrace of the story. i understand with my logic-brain that its more effective to have the book end where it did in full emotional flower of instead of having a @time passes@ epilogue or something, but it does give me a little resolution-agita.

(view spoiler)[ending the book there is kind of unfair to the vola storyline. peter spends most of the book under her care, they change each other for the better, but then he takes leave of her so abruptly, neither of them is given emotional closure. obviously, peter is in a hurry to find pax - thats been his goal the whole book long, and time is of the essence, but by not returning to her in some way at the end; whether it be stated or implicit, it feels ungrateful of peter and shortsighted of the author in not giving them a less rushed farewell, or one where there is a more explicit acknowledgment of their paths crossing again in the future.

the same goes for peter and his father - theres no sense of how what peter has gone through and the strength and control he now knows himself to have will affect his relationship with his father in the future. peter has grown into a more confident person who no longer worries about inheriting his fathers violence, but how will this @new@ peter coexist with his father? what will their relationship become? they dont get a real confrontation scene, which seems odd, and i dont really understand peters father as a character. hes severe in his grief, and physically aggressive, yet hes charmed by paxs appearance in the tent, so hes not irredeemably evil. but the scene where the therapist comes to the house is hard to reconcile or explain. im not sure what he was so angry about there, or what he is to this book other than @what peter does not want to become.@

im not sure what peters life will be without pax. pax is going to be fine - he has an instant new family to fill the hole peter leaves behind. peter has just had loss (mother) followed by loss (vola) followed by loss (pax), and now hes left with just his father and this war thats going to break at amy minute.

and what is this war, even?

by choosing to focus on only the micro - the reunion however brief, between pax and peter, it undermines the seriousness of this war; after we have been told to @tell the truth about war@ and have actually seen the @truth@ of it as enacted upon the animals, if not the human loss. the war is unresolved, unexplained and mostly just serving as a threat - ominously painting the storys background with its irrevocable approach only to be supplanted by a goodbye scene and left … still coming. (hide spoiler)]


so, yeah -it seems i do still have a problem with the way the ending was handled, but im not gonna let that ruin my day or the five-star feel of this book in my heart.

the heart wants what the heart wants and the heart is also able to overlook as many flaws as it has to if there are enough strong positive feelings inside.

@

**********************************************

MY COPY IS DEFECTIVE!! DIFFERENT ENDING PLEASE.

review to come, regardless of this fact.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Twelve-year-old Peters greatest companion is his fox, Pax. When they are divided by necessity in preparation for impending war, Peters need for his fox and his regret over the way they were separated is so great that he embarks on a difficult journey to be reunited with Pax. Meanwhile, Pax must learn to fend for himself in the wild, a new and foreign terrain hes entirely unfamiliar with. The destruction of war threatens his new habitat, and he struggles to survive long enough to see Peter again.

Chapters alternate between Peter and Pax, charting their parallel adventures. Peters chapters are occasionally difficult to believe; what he accomplishes as a twelve-year-old boy is quite a feat. The help he finds along the way makes for a touching story of friendship, recovery, and self-discovery. Paxs chapters shine. His view of the world is cleverly portrayed, playing on the use of his senses to perceive his surroundings. The author superlatively demonstrates Paxs limited understanding of Peter and his unfailing devotion:

The fox licked at the [boys] tears and then grew more confused. There was no scent of blood. He squirmed out of the boys arms to inspect his human more carefully, alarmed that he could have failed to notice an injury, although his sense of smell was never wrong.

Whatever his boy needed - protection, distraction, affection - he would have offered.

Because this is a middle grade novel, it bears mentioning that mature topics are explored. Pax makes mention of anxiety, PTSD, war and loss of bodily limbs. The book deals a lot with death, often portraying it graphically. While this book may help to nurture a young readers sympathy and compassion for animals, the subject matter doesnt always seem suitable for its intended audience. Parents are well advised to first read Pax before handing it to their little ones.

What he sensed alarmed him. He tried to describe it: Air choked with death. Fire and smoke. Blood in a river, the river running red with it, the earth drowning in blood. Chaos.

Lessons include how thoughtless and destructive mankind can be, the challenges and triumphs of self-discovery, the search for truth, and the true cost of war.

@The plain truth can be the hardest thing to see when its about yourself. If you dont want to know the truth, youll do anything to disguise it.@

How many kids this week, he wondered, had woken up to find their worlds changed that way, their parents gone off to war, maybe never coming home? [. . .] How many kids went hungry? How many had to move? How many pets had they had to leave behind to fend for themselves?
And why didnt anyone count those things?


Despite the difficult subject matter, Pax is a tale of loyalty and responsibility, beautifully rendered for lasting impact.

The blackness had quivered with the rustle of night prowlers, and even the sounds of the trees themselves - leaves unfurling, sap coursing up new wood, the tiny cracklings of expanding bark - had startled him over and over as he waited for Peter to return.

Readers wont soon forget the story of Pax and his devoted boy, Peter.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
2 1/2 stars.

My ultimate weakness is animal stories.

Im not much of a book crier, to be honest. If you pack the emotional punches in a non-manipulative way, then you might get a sniffle or a watery sheen over my eyes. But if you want to make me sob, go for the animals. Especially animals that look like this:



Yes, Im shallow like that. I still think this is the saddest, most awful thing Ive ever seen in a movie/book/tv show.

What Im saying is: I went into Pax expecting to have my heart ripped out. In fact, I wanted it. As soon as I heard this was a moving story about a boy and his pet fox, my tear ducts got ready for action. But, unfortunately, it just missed the mark for me.

When Peters father enlists in the war, he makes Peter release his pet fox - Pax - into the wild. But Peter immediately regrets it and decides to set out to find his best friend, who also happens to be trying to find him. Both will face struggles and new realizations along the way.

Theres a lot of repetition of the storys main message - that humans destroy everything with war and that war is the ultimate horror of horrors. Even for a middle grade novel, it lacked a little depth. And it grew very slow in parts.

I got the feeling that it would have made a better short story than a full-length childrens novel. Partly because it got so repetitive, but also because Peters journey to find Pax is a long, boring trek with some chapters feeling thrown in to pad out the story. I also only liked Paxs perspectives in the beginning. After a while, his animal narrative became more and more of the same - scents, food and @I need to find my boy@.

Though I think the real let down for me was the ending. I pushed through some of the novels slower parts in order to reach a conclusion I was sure would destroy me. I predicted what would happen, but that was okay - it didnt need to be surprising to have an impact.

Yet, there was no impact. It kind of petered out... flat, emotionless and brushed under the carpet. Not even a sniffle.

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مشاهده لینک اصلی
WELL IM MAD. I get so so nervous reading animal stories because I love animals. They are so pure, so precious and we dont deserve their perfectness. And Im always SO STRESSED reading animal books because when do they end well??? Never. GAH. But this book seemed beautiful so I wanted to try it!

And it was beautiful. And the illustrations were gorgeous and the writing was everything. But FLIPPITY FLYING FRUIT to that ending. Im disappointed and slightly furious. The ending is probably not what youre assuming straight away -- but it was just really unsatisfying. I have a lot of feelings so....spoilers --> (view spoiler)[I WANTED PETER TO GET HIS FREAKING FOX BACK. But no. He decides Pax is better off in the wild and instead Peter takes home Runt to care for him since Runt got his back legs blown off. But I. am. so. mad. Its like saying that a bond between pet-and-human is replaceable. WHEN ITS NOT. I would lose a piece of my soul if my precious pup died or got lost or just wasnt there for me anymore. So all I can think of is losing my dog as Peter lost Pax for the 2nd time at the end of the book. AND ITS NOT OKAY. It wasnt one of those @bittersweet@ endings. It downright BROKE ME and Im not okay. Sure Pax didnt die (small miracles) but he kind of died in my heart and I dont I dont I dont like this. I FEEL LIKE CRYING. (hide spoiler)]

Ugh. Its so hard to review this! I looooved the rest of the book! If we just pretend the finale didnt happen, then the book is so so beautiful. The writing is not dumbed down (as sometimes happens with MG books) and the characters are complex and gorgeous. Peter, on his journey to find Pax in the woods, ends up breaking his foot and staying with a hermit named, Vola for a while. Vola is your typical hermit: grouchy and gruff and carrying dark baggage. (Shes an ex-soldier with PTSD.) But I LOVED THEIR RELATIONSHIP. It was sweet and poignant. And seriously this is the kind of book 12-year-old Cait would also love.

(EXCEPT THE DARN ENDING.)

Im a little bit confused as to where its set though? Peters father goes off to war, but the war appears to be still in their town? Is this in the USA? Europe? Is it historical fiction or modern? I DONT KNOW AND ITS BOTHERING ME.

Basically it was a beautifully told tale that couldve stolen my heart completely...but the ending let me down. Pfft, the ending DUMPED me in a pile of dirt. Im so mad. Did I mention Im mad? IM MAD. I love Pax and I love that he narrated half the book! (Seriously I was the kid obsessed with Farthing Wood and all the foxes.) I felt for Peter and his quiet anger but his determination to be a good person. Im not entirely sure if I recommend it or not, though...agh. Im so disappointed.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
This book. Oh my. This story broke my heart and then healed it too. A beautiful beautiful story.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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