Friday, January 11, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Navigating Early

I'm very excited for my first Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post for 2013. The book I'm featuring is so new it doesn't even go on sale until tomorrow - January 8th! I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from Random House right before Christmas. I also want to apologize in advance for any typos or weird looking things in the post. I'm on the road today, driving to a funeral, so I'm doing this post from my mobile phone. The app for Blogger is pretty easy to use, but I much prefer my laptop screen. (But no worries, I'm riding now, not driving.) So, let's get right to it.

By: Clare Vanderpool

What an amazing, very unique, yet poignant story. It revolves around Jack Baker and Early Auden, two boys at a boarding school in Maine at the end of World War II. Jack is a transplant from Kansas, having moved to the school after the death of his mother, while his dad serves in the Navy. Early is classified as strange, although in today's world he would probably be diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. The boys are hooked together through a variety of circumstances and go on a quest along the Appalachian Trail. Their journey involves Early's story of the number pi and finding what is lost. Pirates, lost souls, a great black bear and star navigating are among what they encounter and discover.

This truly is a story of forgiveness and finding those who are lost while trying to find yourself in the process. It is also a story of true friendship. What it means to be a friend and also accept the friendship of someone else. And finally it is a story of the connection we all have to each other, connecting the dots - just as navigators do when using the stars as their guide.

I hope you all add Navigating Early to your 2012 reading lists. It is definitely a must read!
Have a great week and for my favorite MMGM picks, check out the list to the right on my website.