Navigating Early

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Written by Clare Vanderpool

At the end of World War II, Jack Baker, a landlocked Kansas boy, is suddenly uprooted after his mother’s death and placed in a boy’s boarding school in Maine. There, Jack encounters Early Auden, the strangest of boys, who reads the number pi as a story and collects clippings about the sightings of a great black bear in the nearby mountains.

Newcomer Jack feels lost yet can’t help being drawn to Early, who won’t believe what everyone accepts to be the truth about the Great Appalachian Bear, Timber Rattlesnakes, and the legendary school hero known as The Fish, who never returned from the war. When the boys find themselves unexpectedly alone at school, they embark on a quest on the Appalachian Trail in search of the great black bear.

But what they are searching for is sometimes different from what they find. They will meet truly strange characters, each of whom figures into the pi story Early weaves as they travel, while discovering things they never realized about themselves and others in their lives

2 thoughts on “Navigating Early

  1. This book had a little bit of everything! The characters were so unique yet I could really hear their voices and picture them. I loved the initial setting of the boys prep school…very vividly described and gave off a warm feeling. The constant unexpected people and situations the boys came upon while on their journey kept the plot moving along at a good pace. I really love how open Early and Jack were to meeting and learning from the new people they met…it’s a good life lesson! The ending was pleasing yet not totally predictable. Overall a very enjoyable book that kept me turning the pages. I’d give it 7 out of 7 stars!!

  2. This book is a very, very, very good and deep book! It’s about a boy who’s mother has recently died. His father who is in the army has been moved to another spot and Jack is now going to boarding school in Maine which is too far from his hometown Kansas at least he thinks so. But one day he meets an odd, interesting boy named Early who will stick with his theories even if they are wrong. Early’s brother Fisher had recently died but Early believes his brother is still alive. Off they set on an adventure that will prove adventurous and extraordinary! I’d give this book a 5 out of 7 because it started off a little slow and it was a little bit like the book “Life of Pi”.

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