Navigating Early – Clare Vanderpool

navigating earlyThis story within a story is set in Maine at the close of World War II.  Jack was raised in Kansas by a loving mother while his military father was away from home serving in the war.  His mother dies suddenly and his father relocates Jack to a boarding school in Maine where Jack meets Early who has also suffered the loss of his family, specifically is older brother.  Early is unique, a genius, and has traits of Asperger’s Syndrome.  He sees stories in numbers and tells the story of Pi.  During a school holiday, Early leads Jack on a quest through the wilds of Maine, seeking to find his supposedly dead brother.

This is a magical book that weaves the story of the number Pi with the adventures that Jack and Early experience.  Brilliant, enchanting and lyrical.  I’m in awe of writers who can weave such a tale.  Every character is rich and deeply drawn from the pirates to lonely woodsman, Gunner, to Jack’s father to Jack and Early.  The author has proven once again why she deserves the accolades of being a Newbery author.  I hope this wins awards and praise and finds readers young and old.  Highly recommend.

NetGalley review   Publication date 1.8.13

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