Amazon Best Books of the Month January 2013
: In her first book since the Newbery Medal winner, Moon Over Manifest
, Clare Vanderpool delivers another contender in Navigating Early
. Jack and Early, outsiders at their boarding school in Maine, form a friendship that sets them on an epic quest across land, sea, and the depths of their own hearts looking for Pi—the young seeker whose tale Early reads in the numbers following 3.14, convinced that he is lost. On their adventure they find pirates, a ferocious black bear, and finally, resolution and connection in the aftermath of a haunting loss. Vanderpool works magic in this multilayered novel of two stories —that of the boys, and that of Pi--and they dovetail beautifully throughout, culminating in an incredibly touching and gratifying ending. --Seira Wilson
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-When his mother unexpectedly passes away and his father returns from serving in World War II, Jack Baker's life is turned upside down. He's moved from his home in Kansas to a boy's boarding school in Maine. He meets a unique boy named Early Auden who has an obsession with pi, seeing an unending story in the mathematically significant number. Caught up in their own sorrows, the boys take a chance during a school break to head off on a quest along the Appalachian Trail. Early's telling of the pi story seems to oddly mirror the strange characters and happenings that the boys encounter in their journey. This is a journey of loss, discovery, and deep-rooted friendship and love. Robbie Daymond, the primary reader of Vanderpool's tale (Delacorte, 2013), does an excellent job of capturing the mood of the story-whether it is the youthful joy of two young boys on an adventure or the somber moments of facing real heartache. His pacing and volume are spot-on throughout the telling, keeping listeners fully engaged. When the story transitions to that of young Pi, Mark Bramhall takes over the narration. The first time this occurs it is a little jarring as listeners move from the mesmerizing voice of Daymond to Bramhall's bold theatrical tones. After the first transition, however, listeners will know what to expect and will appreciate the clear distinction between the boy's story and the mythical tale of Pi. Cassandra Campbell narrates a brief but interesting segment at the end of the presentation informing listeners which parts of the story are fact and which are fiction. A winner, especially for older middle schoolers.-Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Public Library.UTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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