Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Monday, January 21, 2013

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

How I Heard About It:   I heard about this book on Twitter.  Of course!  A few months back I was jealous that readers were reading the ARC of this book.  I'm hoping someday I will be one of those readers that receives ARC's.  For now, I waited patiently for the release of the book on January 8th and was at the book store right after work.  I read Vanderpool's first book Moon Over Manifest several years ago.  I also shared it with my class.  It was exciting to know that her second book was coming out and according to the early reviews, it was just as wonderful as Moon Over Manifest

What It Is About: The book Navigating Early takes the reader on a magical journey of two young boys making their way through the Appalachians in the state of Maine.  Jack Baker has just moved from Kansas to Maine with his military dad.  One of the first students he meets is Early Auden.  He isn't like the rest of the boys at the school, but something draws Jack toward Early.  Early is about to venture on a quest to find his brother Fisher who fought in the war in France.  Jack isn't quite sure about Early or the "adventure", but finds himself packing up his stuff and joining Early.  During the journey they meet some of the most unique, strange, dangerous, heart-warming, and memorable characters.  The friendship between the two boys grows deeper and deeper with each step their take on the trail.  By the end of the journey, and the book, both boys have found the answers to the questions they were looking for. 

What I Thought Of It:   It is always interesting to read an author's second book, especially after the first book was so satisfying.  I get a bit nervous that it won't measure up to the first book.  Well, that wasn't the case with Navigating Early.  I think this story might even be better than the Moon Over Manifest.  I was drawn into the story immediately and it didn't let me go until I closed the book.  The characters of Jack and Early were what made this story.  I came to truly care about each of these boys and the stories that they carried on this marvelous journey.  The plot is quite intricate and reminded me of the depths of Walk Two Moons and Holes.  Now that I have finished the novel, I'm thinking it will become a read aloud to my fourth graders this school year. 

Who Should Read It:   I will be recommending this book to all my fellow readers.  I know that all teachers and librarians will truly enjoy this story.  I also think it would make a wonderful read aloud for grades four and up.  As far as reading this independently, I think it would be appropriate for fifth grade and above.  As much as I think the book would make an awesome read aloud, I also know many adult readers would enjoy the book just for themselves.  Happy Reading! 

1 comment:

  1. Patrick, I just picked this book up today so was happy to see your review. I've also heard great things about it through Twitter so looking forward to it. I wanted to love Moon Over Manifest but had trouble getting hooked - but Clare Vanderpool's style is beautiful and she develops great characters. Great review!