Navigating Early

Navigating Early

Book - 2013
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"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."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, c2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307974129
030797412X
9780375990403
0375990402
9780385742092
0385742096
Characteristics: 306 p. ; 22 cm.

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r
Reads_A_Lot
Sep 28, 2017

Oh, how I loved this book. Although a children's book, I'm not sure many of the current generation of kids would be drawn to it. It's 1940s timeframe and references, and the nostalgic feel of it would probably not appeal to a lot of kids. However, it's written with such beauty and depth that adults definitely can enjoy it. As I was reading this book I envisioned it as a classic kids buddy movie like Stand by Me and The Goonies. All the nuances of this book were so well done. The title of the book, the friendship between Jack and Early, the way they are both emotionally lost and searching, Early's fascination with the number pi, the way their adventure parallels Early's story of Pi, the characters they meet along the way - especially Gunnar. Oh my gosh I could go on and on. Definitely recommend this one.

m
mayaeleazer
May 02, 2017

This is one of the best novels I ever read my children (then aged 9 and 7 years). It has a wonderful message, buried in a story of mystery, adventure, and coming-of-age.

t
Tabaqui
Mar 16, 2017

Found this one recommended on one of my favorite blogs, and enjoyed it greatly! Early is wonderfully, mysteriously, eccentric, but it all makes sense when you read the epilogue. I would say this book is all about stories and family, loyalty and love, and finding who you are meant to be. Well and thoughtfully written, this book has an inherent beauty, but an underlying sadness that might be a little too much for the younger ones. For everyone else, what are you waiting for? This book is great!

n
normaking
Feb 21, 2017

This book starts kind of slow, but hang in there. The author ties it all together with a bang you won't expect.

b
blue_badger_1000
Jan 01, 2017

A great read! At first I thought that they where just pretending to go on this adventure, but these events have a huge impact on their lives. A fabulous book for 10-12 year olds and it keeps you wanting more, even after the epilogue ends.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Jun 05, 2016

After Jack meets Early at a boarding school in Maine, he is intrigued by Early’s oddities. Over their fall break, the two set out rowing down a river. Early tells a long, ongoing narrative about a lost boy named Pi. It becomes clear to Jack that Early’s quest is really about his brother who went missing during WWII. The beginning parts of the novel seem like an entirely different part than the surreal adventure Early go on later in the book. The book is well-written, but there are times where it seems like it’s trying to be more profound than it actually is.

vpl_childrens Dec 08, 2015

Interest level: ages 9-12. Jack is sent to boarding school after his mother’s death at the end of WWII, and it is here he meets a child savant named Early. The two embark on an epic adventure down the river where Early recounts an exciting saga based on the number Pi. A beautiful blend of historical fiction and personal journeys.

JCLAxelF Aug 03, 2015

This is a great read, though it is a pretty serious journey. It is not as light and cheery as the cover might make it seem, but it is still something I would recommend to anyone interested in an adventure tale.

JCLHelenH Feb 04, 2015

2014 Kansas Notable Book

b
BookFan63
Nov 18, 2014

A wonderful story.

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i
IamJubilee
May 01, 2014

IamJubilee thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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indigo_zebra_84
Jul 22, 2013

indigo_zebra_84 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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daltenhofen
May 14, 2013

daltenhofen thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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JCLChrisK Mar 11, 2014

"For crying out loud, Baker, what rock have you been living under? Oh, yeah, you're from Kansas." He said it as if Kansas were in some remote tribal region inhabited by illiterate natives like the ones in my National Geographic magazines.

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