Thursday, February 07, 2013
by Clare Vanderpool
Delacorte Press, 2013
review copy ARC provided by Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers
It's been a long time since a book has grabbed me by the collar and sat me down in a chair and refused to let me up until I finished it.
Navigating Early wiggled its way into my school bag and forced me to read during SSR time, as I ate lunch, and while my students were at art.
I fell in love with Jack, from flat, wide open Kansas, who pukes the first time he looks at the ocean. And I fell in love with Early, who listens to Billie Holiday when it rains. I fell in love with the stories within the story -- the travels of Pi that match both the digits of Pi as well as the adventure Jack and Early have in the backwoods of Maine.
I couldn't help myself -- I dogeared the page corner at Chapter 21 -- the first time I can ever remember encountering fly fishing in a children's book (not to mention a spirited argument about why Jesus could possibly have been "a likely candidate for fly-fishing").
Navigating Early is mysterious and magical, brimful of surprising characters, and with an ending that's a sigh of satisfaction.
Move Navigating Early to the top of your must-read list. You won't regret it.
Also reviewed by
Kevin at Kevin's Meandering Mind
Katherine at Read, Write, Reflect
Colby at Sharpread