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Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
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Navigating Early (edition 2013)

by Clare Vanderpool

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4063726,236 (4.04)16
Member:ltcl
Title:Navigating Early
Authors:Clare Vanderpool
Info:Delacorte Books for Young Readers (2013), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

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» See also 16 mentions

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Recommended by Cathy (CJ) Fisher
Middle School - boys
Parallel metaphorical story
  RhondaHoward | Jul 22, 2015 |
This book would be a great read for students 10+. The primary story is paralleled with another story one of the boy tells. Students could be challenged to find connections and significance between the two stories. They could use the text to think about author's craft: why did she choose to tell the story in this way? What does Early's story about Pi add to her work? ( )
  CJFisher | Jul 2, 2015 |
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool is the story of the friendship that develops between the new boy from Kansas, Jack, and Early, the strange, outcast boy, at a Maine boy’s boarding school. Both boys are dealing with life’s darker side as Jack has recently lost his mother and Early; his brother who was lost at war. Today it would be known that Early is located on autism spectrum but this book is set in 1945, and Early is simply classed as “weird”. This YA story captures both the joy and magic of childhood along with the harder life lessons that are part of growing up.

The author explores the themes of friendship, loss and learning about oneself in this mythical adventure story. As Early isn’t convinced that his brother really died, he and Jack set out to the Appalachian Trail on a quest to find him and the Great Appalachian Bear. Thus the two boys embark upon an adventure that helps both of them come to terms with life and loss. I had a couple of small quibbles with the book, I didn’t find the lifestyle of Early entirely believable. I do not think any boy at a boarding school would be allowed to live such a separate life, coming and going as he pleased and attending classes when it suited him. Secondly, I thought the plot was little contrived and simple which kept me from totally buying into the story.

This is however a beautifully written story about children that are dealing with grief and loss. Each boy has dark issues but the support and care they get from each other helps them back on the path toward acceptance and maturity. The relationship between these two boys makes Navigating Early a rewarding read and I need to remember that this is a book targeted at children not grumpy old ladies. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Apr 12, 2015 |
Ms. Vanderpool is one of my new favorite YA authors, managing to snag my loyalty despite the fact that the two books I have read by her are both historical fiction - not one of my favorite genres. But the history in this novel isn't the texture and feel but rather the setting for the real story which is that of grieving and friendship - two themes that are always timely. The relationship between Jack and Early is by turns funny and poignant. The adventure that they embark on seems fairly fantastical in 2015 but more likely in 1945. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Mar 29, 2015 |
A boy named John moves to Main after his mother dies, he believes it is his fault when he meets another boy named Early. He becomes friends with the autistic boy. Early helps him when it comes to rowing, and the go on an adventure together. John remembers his sayings from his Mom, and Early tells him the story of Pi. They end up in the same position Pi was in during his expirences. Early believes if Pi is alive than his Brother is.

I believe this was a very good book, in fact the best book i've ever read. It was very interesting. I love the story of Pi inside the book. It is like two stories at once. I would highly reccomend someone else read this book. Again, I loved it. ( )
  ethanw.b1 | Dec 18, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385742096, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:49 -0400)

"Odyssey-like adventure of two boys' incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters"--

(summary from another edition)

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