Friday, June 29, 2007
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
The very first book I read this summer was Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass. What a great book to begin with! I didn't take good notes on this book, because I wasn't thinking ahead to the future, so I am going to do this from what I can remember.
What struck me first about this book is the fact that it has a boy main character but... he has a best friend who is a girl. This is helpful because it leaves no one out when trying to get students interested. I hate to give away the premise or plot of any book, so I am not. Basically Jeremy the main character's father passed away when he was 8 (?). Mysteriously right before his 13 birthday he receives a box containing a present from his dad to be opened on his 13th birthday. The box claims to hold the Meaning of Life. To further complicate this mystery the box takes four keys to open, and of course they are all missing. The story unfolds as Jeremy and his friend, Lizzy go on a quest to find the keys to open the box. In the meantime they are actually unraveling the mystery of the Meaning of Life.
I would recommend this book for students at the end of sixth grade or the beginning of seventh grade. Some of the ideas would be way over the head of my fifth grade students. But I can see 12/13 year olds relating to most everything about this book. I did shed a tear or two in the end. Okay- I was bawling. I hate to mention something bad about this book but I am going to anyway. The book was a bit long. Some of the plot could have been shaved down so as not to lose the meaning of the book, in my opinion. But then again... I didn't write the book.