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Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  13,611 ratings  ·  1,257 reviews
In one month Jeremy Fink will turn thirteen. But does he have what it takes to be a teenager? He collects mutant candy, he won't venture more than four blocks from his apartment if he can help it, and he definitely doesn't like surprises. On the other hand, his best friend, Lizzy, isn't afraid of anything, even if that might get her into trouble now and then.
Jeremy's summ
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Published by Recorded Books (first published November 1st 2006)
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This story is about a boy named Jeremy Fink who got a gift for his 13th birthday. On this box it said "The meaning of life" and it had a lock on it. He got this girft 1 month before his birthday though and it was from his father who died 5 years ago. There was also a letter that came with this gift and it was from a lawyer. The lawyer was to give to Jermery for his 13th birthday but the key got lost and there was no replacement. Jeremy was the type of boy who didn't leave New York City but his n ...more
Apr 27, 2008 Will rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 11-13 year olds just getting into mystery
Shelves: young-adult-read
The contrived plot of this book made it hard to really enjoy as an adult reader, but as a teacher, it actually helps.

Let me explain: In this book, Jeremy Fink is a 12-year-old who receives a mysterious box that his father, who died several years before, had arranged to be delivered to him the summer before his 13th birthday. It requires four keys to open, but they are missing. In it, according to a note from his father, is "the meaning of life." Jeremy and his best friend, Lizzy, end up looking
Mel B.
A former classmate recommended this book and I was sucked in almost immediately. Do you expect to learn the meaning of life in a young adult / children's book? Oddly enough, you do pick up some of that meaning along the way. [return][return]Jeremy receives a box that is meant to be opened on his 13th birthday, from his long-dead father. The only problem is that the box has four locks and he doesn't have the keys. His summer is alternately devoted to his quest for the keys and an odd sort of comm ...more
An incredibly touching story, I don't think I'll think about life the same way now.
No full review this time, I won't do it justice.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeremy Fink and the meaning of life is a book recommended for ages 11 and up.
Here is a little about the book:

Jeremy Fink is a 12 year old boy and his best friend’s name is Lizzy. Lizzy and Jeremy do everything together. Jeremy and Lizzy live in the same apartment in New York City. Jeremy’s dad gave him a box to open on his 13th birthday which is coming close. Throughout the story the two best friends have to find the keys (that they don’t even know exist) to open the box. While they are on th
What a great book! What a sweet message of family, friendship, and love! Not ready to read to Alex, but might suggest Brooke read it, although with no vampires, I don't know if she will...
April Thompson
If you go along with the flow of life, without trying to change others, or change situations that are beyond you, life is much more peaceful.
Barb Middleton
My best friend and I set off on our bikes determined to go further than we ever had before. The wind whipped my hair off my face and nervousness, joy and excitement rippled through me like heat waves off the asphalt. We were having a blast.

Until we got lost.

That wasn’t so much fun.

Jeremy Fink in the book, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, by Wendy Mass, is the opposite of me. He likes comfort so much he won’t even eat anything other than peanut butter sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. It is
For some reason I am really feeling juvenile fiction this summer. Just something about kids' books and summer that makes me all nostalgic, even though most of the books I read as a kid during the summer were Goosebumps. I still remember trading them amongst kids at school like they were Pogs. Oh, man, Pogs...

Anyway, this book is a really perfect summer-in-middle-school book. It features a weird kid and his weird friend, but the great part is throughout the book you realize that everyone in this
Keilani Ludlow
Honestly, it was hard to decide between a 2 and 3 star. Overall plot and story, 3, wrap-up - 1 or 2. Jeremy and his best friend Lizzy are great. Their story, the little mystery/adventure they embark on, all interesting and good.

Here's my issue. You don't title a book with "...the Meaning of Life" unless you really have something good as the meaning of life. Or a really good reason why the meaning of life becomes the journey or something like that. However, when you have one really important dea
Jeremy Fink, a twelve year old boy, wanted to find the keys to the wooden box his dad left for him before he passed away, but the keys are missing and Jeremy doesn’t want to destroy the box. The box has carved writing on it saying that it has the meaning of life in it, and Jeremy’s dad had also written a note that came along with the box saying that Jeremy is supposed to open the box on his thirteenth birthday. So, Jeremy and his best friend, Lizzy, have to go on an adventurous Journey to find ...more
Abbey Schaefer
In this book, written by Wendy Mass, A young boy named Jeremy Fink receives a box in the mail just before his 13th birthday. Along with the box, he receives the words,"The Meaning of Life-for Jeremy Fink to open on his 13th birthday." This box has four locks, but there are no keys that arrived with it. Jeremy and his best friend Lizzy go on a hunt through Manhattan to find clues as to what lies inside the box. They search all over the city and meet many interesting people along the way and every ...more
Kerry Cerra
Twelve-year-old Jeremy Fink is a play-it-safe kinda kid. There’s no need to wander farther than his own New York City block. Ever! So, when a mysterious wooden box, with keyholes on four sides, arrives on his doorstep with a note from his dead father’s attorney, Jeremy simply asks for the keys. But it’s not that easy; the keys have been misplaced. The box—engraved with the words The Meaning of Life: For Jeremy Fink to Open on His 13th Birthday—sets Jeremy and his best friend Lizzy on the quest o ...more
This book was so fun and enjoyable to read! I loved the adventure aspect, as well as the reason behind the adventure: to find the meaning of life. Jeremy and his best friend, Lizzy, go on a search to find the missing keys to a box Jeremy's dad made for him to open on his 13th birthday. The box is significant because Jeremy's father made the box on Jeremy's 8th birthday, and then Jeremy's dad died three years later. Jeremy feels especially drawn to this quest because this message comes from his d ...more
♔ Jessica Marie
My sweat smells like peanut butter.

How can anyone not be immediately drawn to a book with an opening sentence like that?

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life documents the life Jeremy Fink and his best friend, Lizzy, as they attempt to find the keys to a box that contains the meaning of life. Along the way they discover important things about themselves, their friendship, and of course life. They also encounter many unique characters that will aid them on their search and leave a lasting impressio
Nick Boudreau
Ah, a Classic Wendy Mass story. Reading this as a sixth grader had me jumping out of orange-red Lebron 13 Special Edition basketball sneakers. I started the book, and it was actually ok! I mean, a confusing plot and the characters jump from here to over there but overall an O.K. read. I would give it like a 3.5, but there is no feature for that. But still, a great read if you want something to fulfill your "boxy" (Jeremy Fink pun) needs.
Kid-safe. Mother-approved.

I bought this for my son, but it was so cute, I found myself reading it long into the night. It's been awhile since I read a kids' book that didn't insult the intelligence of the child reading while also respecting parents' wishes and keeping foul language, overt sexuality, alternate lifestyles or disrespect for certain political or religious beliefs out of the equation. This one is for EVERYONE.

Here, you have some extremely well-written characters, loads of humor, a c
Bret Silverman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An old man is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you - ...more
Comprei este livro para o meu filho, que está na fase das dúvidas existenciais. Quando ele o acabou, disse-me que eu tinha de lê-lo. Na verdade, eu já o tinha começado...

É uma história bonita, bem contada e correspondeu exactamente às expectativas que eu tinha quando o encomendei.

Recomendado a jovens de 12-14 anos, sobretudo aos que se questionam sobre o que estamos aqui a fazer...
*listened to audio
*School Library Journal says it's for grades 5-7.

I enjoyed this book. As the reviewer remarked, some students may find parts tedious. The book works well with students of various ages. I would use this book as a read aloud with seniors.

Loved that the content was appropriate for something marked "juvenile literature."

This book reminds me of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. (Heather, I didn't see your comment/ recommendation until I posted this, so we're on the same track.)
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of a Life is a cute novel to say the least. Jeremy, who is a very curious and creative twelve-year-old boy has a solid friendship with Lizzy. What makes their friendship so dynamic is how Jeremy is generally a calm person who follows the rules while Lizzy is adventurous and daring. Since they have known each other since they were very young, they trust one another which is why when Jeremy receives a mysterious box in the mail, which requires a key to be opened, they b ...more
Home Ice-bloxx
Kurz vor seinem 13. Geburtstag bekommt Jeremy eine Kasette seines verstorbenen Vaters. Doch das ist nicht irgendeine Kassette: sie hat 4 Schlösser mit 4 verschiedenen, verschollenen Schlüsseln, doch das Beste: die Kiste beinhaltet den Sinn des Lebens! Um die Schlüssel zu finden und die Kassette zu öffnenen müssen Jeremy und seine beste Freundin Lizzy quer durch New York fahren. Doch es läuft nicht alles nach Plan und sie werden von der Polizei zu Sozialstunden bei einem Pfandleihhaus veru
I liked the story OK but I felt it was poorly written. I read once that using adverbs as descriptors is an easy out for writers. For instance, "She danced happily" is much easier (but more boring) than "She swirled like a gypsy in a trance." This book is full of people dancing happily, turning angrily, swimming quickly, and so on. Also, there were a lot of sentences that didn't make sense.

So anyway, Jeremy's dad died and left him a box with these words carved into it: "The Meaning of Life: For J
I wasn't liking it at all... preparing to give it only one or two stars. But then I got whopped by the ending!! Really good!
So, there are great things about this book: quirky and detailed and fun idea. The right amount of symbolism. The right amount of challenging vocabulary and ideas for the target age. Great, if not wholly believable, description of boy-girl tween friendship. I didn't like the first 90% so much because it didn't seem too carefully written. The protaganist-with-dead-parent is e
Anne Crotty
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

Just before Jeremy Fink’s 13th birthday he receives a box from his dad who had been dead for 8 years. The box supposedly contains “The Meaning of Life”. Unfortunately, he cannot open the box because he does not have the keys. Jeremy and his best friend Lizzy contact a locksmith who tells them that he cannot open the box without perhaps destroying the contents. So the pair begins their quest to find the keys for the box and open it before Jeremy’s 13th birthday.
Jeevan D.Rose
Jeremy Fink: The meaning of life “The definition of life, is not death”
The story Jeremy Fink: The meaning of life is very meaningful. The book is about Jeremy Fink who is turning 13 in a month and his dad who passed away left him a box that said “To Jeremy Fink open on your 13th birthday”. The problem is there are no keys.
Jeremy Fink the main character he a young independent boy who had to grow up all on his own. At 8 years of age Jeremy’s Dad past away. Jeremy didn’t sleep at all for a long ti
What is the meaning of life? This question, if ever answerable to any specific congregation, would be utterly divine. The fact that Jeremy Fink, age 12, had never actually thought about this question and it had never bothered him. That is, until the day he, and longtime friend Lizzy, get a box referring to him and his deceased father. Furthermore, he finds the box was a gift from his father, to be given to Jeremy on his 13 birthday, which was only a month away. There was only one problem though. ...more
Meera B
Jeremy Fink, now almost a teenager, is terribly surprised when he gets a mysterious wooden box in the mail. On the other hand, his best friend Lizzy, isn't afraid of anything and doesn't mind getting into trouble now and then. On the peculiar box that they receive, there four key holes, but no keys! Engraved on the box are the words: "The meaning of life." Jeremy realizes that the box is from his dad, who died 5 years ago. What can the meaning of life possibly be? Where are the missing keys? Thi ...more
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Wendy Mass is the author of six novels for young people, including A Mango-Shaped Space (which was awarded the Schneider Family Book Award by the American Library Association), Leap Day, the Twice Upon a Time fairy tale series, and Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, which earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly magazine. Her most recent book is Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall. Wendy wrote ...more
More about Wendy Mass...
11 Birthdays (Willow Falls, #1) A Mango-Shaped Space Every Soul a Star The Candymakers Finally (Willow Falls, #2)

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“Do you ever think if people heard our conversations they'd lock us up?"
All the time.”
“A fight is going on inside me," said an old man to his son. "It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you."

The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, "Which wolf will win?"

The old man replied simply, "The one you feed.”
More quotes…