Thursday, February 07, 2013

Navigating Early

Navigating Early
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


  1. I loved Moon Over Manifest - and this one looks just as marvelous.

  2. Mary lee,
    I read this review early Thursday morning and it was the perfect anchor text for teaching the power of persuasion! My third graders and I looked at your powerful language in this review, We loved your bold beginning and how you ended the review! I told them that it influenced me to buy this book! Thanks for the recommendation AND for a great connection to our persuasive writing unit:)

    1. Wow! My writing as an anchor text! What a compliment!!

  3. I'm so glad you mentioned Chapter 21, because I did the exact same thing! Groan. Everything else about the book was perfect, really. I absolutely loved it.


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