Reading guide for Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Navigating Early

by Clare Vanderpool

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool X
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2013, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2014, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sharry Wright
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. Explain what Jack means when he says, "You get what you get and you are what you are." (p. 2) Later Jack says, "Somehow Early maintained a sense of direction. He knew who he was and where he was going. I did not." (p. 101) What is Jack's greatest obstacle? What is Jack's direction by the end of the novel?
  2. Jack often refers to being lonely. What is his first twinge of loneliness? Discuss what he could have done upon arrival at Morton Hill to help his situation. How might he interact differently when he arrives back at school after his adventure with Early? Debate whether Early is lonely. What is signifi cant about Early thanking Jack for coming with him?
  3. Discuss how the faculty and students at Morton Hill dismiss Early. Debate whether the school allows him to stay out of loyalty to his dead mother. How are students like Early served in schools today?
  4. Jack ditches Early at the Regatta. Why does he think Early doesn't feel disappointment or pain or being left out? At what point does Jack realize that Early does have these feelings? Morton Hill's motto is "Always Faithful." Discuss how Early understands these words better than Jack? How is Jack dealing with a personal disappointment? Debate whether this excuses his actions. How might Jack live up to the school motto the remainder of his days at Morton Hill?
  5. Early says that the stars are "connected in unexpected ways, just like people." (p. 36). Discuss the unexpected connections between the following characters: Jack, Early, MacScott, Martin, Gunnar, Emmaline, Eustasia Johannsen, Fisher, and Captain Baker. How does each of their stories contribute to the overall quest in the novel?
  6. Jack says, "You can tell a lot about people by what they enshrine." (p. 163) Why does it take Jack so long to learn about Early from what is enshrined in his room? What does Jack learn about Gunnar? Discuss what the trophy case at Morton Hill reveals about Fisher. Describe Jack based on what he enshrines. What might Jack enshrine by the end of his journey?
  7. Gunnar tells the boys that sometimes people think they are looking for something, but are really running away from something instead. At what point does Jack realize that Gunnar is running away? What about Fisher and MacScott? Discuss what Jack is looking for. What is he running away from?
  8. Jack ponders whether "seeking" or "fi nding" is more important. Why does he believe that his mother would think "seeking" is more important? What might his father believe? Discuss why a person must be willing to "seek" before he can "fi nd." At what point does Jack realize what he is "seeking"?
  9. Explain the parallel story of PI. Discuss how the story belongs to both Early and Jack. Which boy is more capable of dealing with the conclusion? How do the boys encounter a role reversal at the end of the adventure?

Correlates to Common Core Standard Reading Literature: Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration S.L. 6.1, 6.2, 6.3.


Download the complete Educator's Guide for Navigating Early

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Yearling. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: We Set the Dark on Fire
    We Set the Dark on Fire
    by Tehlor Mejia
    On the island of Medio, a wall separates the wealthy elite from those less fortunate who lack the ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Leopard, Red Wolf
    Black Leopard, Red Wolf
    by Marlon James
    If you are looking for an indulgent, escapist fantasy, Black Leopard, Red Wolf may not be for you. ...
  • Book Jacket: That Time I Loved You
    That Time I Loved You
    by Carianne Leung
    Carrianne Leung was a Toronto Book Award finalist for That Time I Loved You as well as for her debut...
  • Book Jacket: The Pianist from Syria
    The Pianist from Syria
    by Aeham Ahmad
    Aeham Ahmad became famous as the face of Syrian suffering when a photo of him playing piano in the ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A People's History of Heaven
    by Mathangi Subramanian

    A story of love and friendship, and fighting for the places we love.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    My Lovely Wife
    by Samantha Downing

    Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D T T! Full S A!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.