Sunday, January 28, 2007

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

Here is a pretty cute cover! I have been reading buzz about this title for awhile, and was delighted to find it on my colleague Jen's desk.

Jeremy Fink is about to turn 13. He's not big on change, so he is wondering what this will mean for him, when a mysterious package arrives at his home addressed to his mother. The return address is a law firm. Jeremy and best friend Lizzy decide to open the package without his mom.

What is inside will change Jeremy's life.

It's a box from his dad. His dead dad. It's a beautiful handmade box, with a lock on each side and no keys. Inscribed on the top is "The Meaning of Life. For Jeremy Fink. 13th Birthday."

Jeremy's dad always thought he might die early. Ever since that palm reading on the Atlantic City boardwalk said he would pass at 40. In reality, he was 39. It was a total and random accident, but Jeremy has always been a little suspicious. Had he put this box together right before he died? More importantly, how the heck was Jeremy going to get it open without the keys.

Here starts a summertime bestfriend adventure of the best sort. Jeremy searches for the keys while learning to accept and deal with change. He slowly learns about the man his dad was, and the man he himself is becoming.


I enjoyed this title. As you know, I do like the NYC story, and boy protagonists are always good. The reader has to commit to the title, and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to. There is a MetroCard detail that I didn't quite buy. City kids, no matter how stuck to their neighbourhood, tend to have a kind of media savvy that I haven't found elsewhere. Once I got over that detail, and gave myself over the Wendy Mass' storytelling, I enjoyed the ride.

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