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Navigating Early

Vanderpool, Clare

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Navigating Early
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"Odyssey-like adventure of two boys' incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters"--
Published: New York : Delacorte Press, 2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 0375990402
9780375990403
0385742096
9780385742092
Branch Call Number: J VAN
Characteristics: 306 p. ;,22 cm.

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Oct 23, 2014
  • daltenhofen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Recommended to me (an adult) by a 12-year-old relative of mine, this is quite possibly the best book I've read this decade. I can see why she recommended it to me. At times, my heart would pound in anticipation of what was happening. Other times, I grieved silently for the emotional trials of both of these boys, each abandoned in their own way. While probably not appealing to anyone under the age of eleven, I highly recommend it to the age 12-and-over crowd, both boys and girls, and to any adult as well. This is an outstanding piece of literature by a Kansas author.

Jun 15, 2014
  • szarnstorff rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A very unusual book about a boy from Kansas who moved to a boarding school on the East Coast. A surprising friendship with an unusual boy with twists in the book that make you want to keep reading. Pirates? bears? What will happen next?

Mar 24, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

In many ways, I feel this review could simply repeat what I said in the last review I wrote, for Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: that it is a lovely book about kids that may not so much be for kids; that it will, unfortunately, appeal more to adult readers than the target audience. The fact that it was an honor book not for the Newbery Award for children but for the Printz Award for teens is a good indication of that appeal, I think. ----- The book has many ingredients that could give it adventurous appeal: an epic quest in the wilderness, encounters with bears and rattlesnakes, dangerous pirates, odd personalities discovered in the backwoods, boating and athletic challenges, and more. Yet the adventure is filtered through Jack's relationship with his friend Early and the mutual grieving that they are both suffering through after losing significant family members. Early is a high-functioning, savant autistic with synesthesia--to him, numbers have colors, scents, sounds, emotions, and more--and he is obsessed with the mythical tale being told by the numbers of Pi as he calculates them to further and further decimal places. He believes the tale will lead him to his older brother who died in the war. These aspects are, as I said, lovely, and wonderfully crafted, deep, nuanced, allegorical, and healing for the two boys (and their families), but they just aren't all that--for lack of a better word--fun. It's a thoughtful and moving story; it's not so much an adventurous and compelling one. I enjoyed it. Will younger readers? I'm not sure.

Nov 18, 2013
  • m2 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This was a lovely book, better than Clare Vanderpool's last. The author seemed to focus on her child characters better in this one. I enjoyed the epic quest and getting to know both Jack and Early. There was a lot of beauty in the telling in this book about grief and loss. More so than Counting by 7's which is about lots more than grief. Despite the author giving us more on her child characters, despite her bringing in "pirates" and "volcanoes" and wilderness trekking I still feel that this book appeals more to adults than kids. Pi's story did not work for me in its separate sections-- it just didn't have much interest nor did it seem like the story that Early was telling. Also, I think a story about Pi the navigator is awfully close to The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Not sure to whom to recommend this, other than adults.

This book truly touched my heart, and I don't say that lightly. I didn't laugh out loud or cry, but I did think. A lot. And I felt even more. It is beautifully written. Every sentence is crafted perfectly. It is definitely one of my new all-time favorites!

Feb 04, 2013
  • HellbillyHillhound rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a fun book. It's about: water, sandbags, jazz records, timber rattlesnakes, unnecessary gun violence, numbers, war veterans, stars, childhood friendship, dealing death in the family, and autism.

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IamJubilee thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 22, 2013
  • indigo_zebra_84 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

indigo_zebra_84 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

May 14, 2013
  • daltenhofen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

daltenhofen thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Mar 11, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"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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