Although animal books are not usually favorites of mine, I thoroughly enjoyed Pax by Sara Pennypacker (Lexile: 760; Interest Level: Grades 3-6). When Peter's dad makes him release his pet fox into the wild before moving in with his grandfather, Peter is furious. Pax, the fox, is confused, but trusts that his boy will return for him. What follows is the story of Pax searching for his boy and Peter searching for Pax, told in alternating chapters.
Peter starts his adventures by running away from his grandfather's house, getting waylaid by running into people and then a accident which caused him to meet a new friend who helps him find a little of his true self. Pax begins his by waiting patiently where he last saw his boy, but then needing to make some animal friends of his own when hunger and thirst set in. This is a marvelous story of love, loyalty, friendship and adventure. I highly recommend it for everyone--whether a lover of animal stories or not. (288 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.