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mandafofanda

Mandafofanda Reads Lots

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?

And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?

- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Navigating Early - Clare Vanderpool I wish this book had been around when I was a kid. This book fosters a belief in wonderment and a love of storytelling, and I just want to place this book into every kid's hands and say Keep dreaming big, thinking big and don't lose that sense of wonder.

Similar to stories like [b:Life of Pi|4214|Life of Pi|Yann Martel|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320562005s/4214.jpg|1392700] or [b:The Storyteller|11284898|The Storyteller|Antonia Michaelis|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1305031179s/11284898.jpg|14863867], a fairy tale is woven within the novel so you're going back and forth between the stories, finding connections, hints, foreshadowing and deeper meanings.

Early. The strangest of boys. Utterly endearing. I liked how his "strangeness" was never named, diagnosed or given as a label so that he became a poster boy for it - especially in the book description, so I didn't have any preconceptions for his character. It allowed for the slow uncovering of his quirks, emotions and perceptions that made him him. As Jack says at one point, "... in that moment of silence, I was reminded that Early was not just a strange oddity of nature who counted jelly beans and read numbers as if they were a story. I knew he could feel hurt and disappointment..."

The book is half a boarding school story, until Jack and Early set off into the Appalachian wilderness and have a whole adventure that's a mix of the realities of survival and the strange and fantastical. I must say that while the first part of the book caught my interest, it was the last quarter or so that captured me completely so that I couldn't put this book down until the end. And how imaginative of the numbers in Pi describing a fairy tale of a boy's journey to find the answers to his questions and earn his name.

Just, love.