Middler Books and More

This blog contains Bruce DuBoff's book reviews, info on other media, and related topics. It is a collaboration between the librarian and both the students of Pennsauken Intermediate School and Phifer Middle School in Pennsauken, NJ, and the general middler book reading community. The books featured here are appropriate for grades 5-8, though not all books reviewed here are appropriate for all of those ages.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass (3 1/2 out of 4 stars)--
Jeremy Fink is a few months away from his 13th birthday when he receives a mysterious box in the mail. he and his best friend Lizzy open it up and it says, "To Jeremy Fink to be opened on his 13th birthday" and it claims to contain, "The meaning of life." The box is sent to him from a law office, but it is really from his father, who died four years earlier. It contains 4 keyholes that require 4 separate keys, but Jeremy and Lizzy do not have the keys and must search all around New York and New Jersey for them.

I really liked this book. I related to Jeremy and his insecurities; he seemed very real to me, a person who grew in a Northeastern city. Fans of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler or Gilda Joyce will definitely enjoy the brash and bold Lizzy, and they play off of each other like the Odd Couple. I will confess that there is some philosophy that gets a bit long after a while, but I like that metaphysical stuff anyway, so it didn't bother me a bit. You may not share my taste, however, so beware.

This is a very funny, but also poignant, look at the struggles facing young adolescents. I heartily recommend it.


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