MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

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

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sharry Wright
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

New York Times Best Seller Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool, Newbery Medalist for Moon Over Manifest, is an odyssey-like adventure of two boys' incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters.

At the end of World War II, Jack Baker, a landlocked Kansas boy, is suddenly uprooted after his mother's death and placed in a boy's boarding school in Maine. There, Jack encounters Early Auden, the strangest of boys, who reads the number pi as a story and collects clippings about the sightings of a great black bear in the nearby mountains.

Newcomer Jack feels lost yet can't help being drawn to Early, who won't believe what everyone accepts to be the truth about the Great Appalachian Bear, Timber Rattlesnakes, and the legendary school hero known as The Fish, who never returned from the war. When the boys find themselves unexpectedly alone at school, they embark on a quest on the Appalachian Trail in search of the great black bear. But what they are searching for is sometimes different from what they find. They will meet truly strange characters, each of whom figures into the pi story Early weaves as they travel, while discovering things they never realized about themselves and others in their lives.

PROLOGUE

If I'd known what there was to know about Early Auden, that strangest of boys, I might have been scared off, or at least kept my distance like all the others. But I was new to the Morton Hill Academy for Boys, and to Cape Fealty, Maine. Fact was, I was new to anyplace outside of northeastern Kansas.

I've heard it said that Kansas has a long-standing history of keeping its sons and daughters close to home, but in recent years there have been some notable exceptions. General Eisenhower, for one. Everyone was so proud of the way he led the Allied forces during the war with Germany. He came back to Abilene for a big parade, but once all the hoopla died down, he left. I don't think he plans on taking up residence again anytime soon.

My father is in the armed services too. Captain John Baker, Jr. He's in the navy. You know what they say. There's two kinds of fellas: navy men and those who wish they were. My ...

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...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Readers who choose to follow Jack and Early on their quest will find surprise, a light shined on dark secrets, and many unexpected and accidental treasures along the way. They will leave Navigating Early with inner riches to guide them on their own quests, whatever and wherever they might be...continued

Full Review (1028 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Sharry Wright).

Media Reviews

The Wall Street Journal
An emotionally believable and moving work of magical realism.

The New York Times
The hallmark of Navigating Early is abundant adventure...The friendship between Jackie and Early and the Morton Hill Academy episodes overall have the flavor of Wes Anderson's delightful summer camp movie, Moonrise Kingdom.

The Washington Post
Clare Vanderpool deftly rows this complex, inventive novel — her most recent since her Newbery-winning Moon Over Manifest'— to a tender, surprising and wholly satisfying ending.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This multilayered, intricately plotted story has a kaleidoscopic effect, blurring the lines between reality and imagination, coincidence and fate.

Booklist
Starred Review. Newbery Medal-winning author Vanderpool's sharp, honest narrative, sparkling with the stars of the night sky, pieces together an elaborate, layered plot with precision, weaving multiple threads into a careful, tidy conclusion perfectly suited for those, like Jack and Early, who want to believe.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Navigating this stunning novel requires thought and concentration, but it's well worth the effort. Ages 10-14.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Clare Vanderpool

If you liked Navigating Early, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: How to Pronounce Knife
    How to Pronounce Knife
    by Souvankham Thammavongsa
    Many examples of immigrant fiction dedicate a portion of their storytelling to exploring details of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Easy Part of Impossible
    The Easy Part of Impossible
    by Sarah Tomp
    Teenager Ria Williams is a skilled diver. She is on track to compete at the Olympic level, but ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire in Paradise
    Fire in Paradise
    by Alastair Gee , Dani Anguiano
    On November 8, 2018, a fire started in Northern California's Butte County after 50-70 mph winds ...
  • Book Jacket
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Voted 2018 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Towards the end of Madeline Miller...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Daughter of the Reich
    by Louise Fein

    A spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Paris Hours
    by Alex George

    One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Henna Artist
by Alka Joshi

The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Adventurer's Son

The Adventurer's Son

"A brave and marvelous book. A page-turner that will rip your heart out."
--Jon Krakauer

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

B I T T Water

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.