Friday, January 8, 2016

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool 306 pages

This was such a great book.  I wasn't really expecting much and nearly passed it by.  Several of our young library patrons were telling me that it was so good, I decided I'd better check it out.  Totally worth it!  Following the death of his mother, Jack has to go to a boys' military school.  His father is an active officer in the military and this is shortly after WWII.  Going from Kansas to Maine is a huge transition in and of itself, coupled with a new home with nothing to tether him there.  It's not terrible, but Jack isn't exactly happy.  Then he meets Early.  Early is a most unusual boy, routines dictating his life, a too-loud voice that speaks with authority on every issue, usually to the bemusement of everyone around him.  Jack is fascinated by Early and Early helps Jack learn a new way of life, a more water-based life for the landlocked Kansan.  One thing that completely draws Jack in is Early's story about Pi.  He insists that the numbers aren't running out, as a renowned mathematician of the day posits.  In fact, his story makes Pi into a living breathing person, going off to see the world, following the North Star.  Early is convinced that his brother was not killed in the war, as the government told him, but is merely lost.  Jack and Early set off on their own adventure, seeking Early's brother and experiencing some remarkable coincidences to Early's story of Pi.  This story will suck you in.  What a fantastic book for 4th grade and up!  I listened to it read by Robbie Daymond and Mark Bramhall.

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