Saturday, October 26, 2013

Navigating Early by Claire Vanderpool

Navigating EarlyJackie's mother passes away, and his father, a retired navy man, decides to move them from Oklahoma to Maine. Jackie is sent to a boarding school where he meets Early, an unusual student with an unusual story. His brother died during World War II, but Early won't accept it. He tells Jackie the tale of Pi. It describes the disappearance of digits in the mathematical Pi, but also may explain some confusing events in Jackie and Early's lives. Early decides to travel into the mountains in search of the missing Pi, and Jackie goes along. Early seems a little delusional, but Jackie is there for support. However, Early may not be as crazy as he thinks.

I enjoyed the plot and the connections made between the two stories. These connections require some mature thinking or readers will get lost and lose interest. Early's story describes the math term Pi as a character, and I thought Early was nuts or hallucinating at times. I was impressed at how believable events became around the climax, and the epilogue added some integrating twists too.

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