This one, new in paperback, caught my eye on the front table of the bookshop. The assistant told me she "loved" it! I didn't buy it on the strength of that comment, but the cover is wonderful and the comments on the back drew me in.
Pax is a fox. A pet, though, not wild. He was found in a litter of three, the only kit still breathing, the parents both dead. So Peter, Pax's boy, takes him home and saves his life and they are inseperable for some years, until the day the boy has to let go. He has to open the car door, put him out and let his father drive off. The reason for the abandonment becomes clear as we read the book. No country is mentioned, although it sounds like America, but it could be anywhere in the northern hemisphere; a war is coming, but it becomes obvious that this war is a civil war and is about access to water. So it has a slightly dystopian feel about it.
Pax knows his boy will come and collect him. But Peter is taken to his grandfather whilst his father goes off to war. How Peter solves the problem of finding Pax, and how Pax remains in the area because he just has to wait for his boy to return is beautifully told. There is violence because of the war and also because life in the wild is violent for any animal, whether in the hunt for food or the attack of another species; there is love and care to for both the animals and for the boy, who finds a friend where he least exects it. Will Pax survive? and will Peter ever find him?
I think this is aimed at the YA market but it doesn't matter because this is a good read for any age however old. I have to disagree with a one star rating on Amazon where a reader said that this was not suitable for children...... why not? they can be little brutes themselves, so why would they be steered away from a wonderful read?