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Navigating Early

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  8,990 Ratings  ·  1,660 Reviews
At the end of World War II, Jack Baker, a landlocked Kansas boy, is suddenly uprooted after his mother’s death and placed in a boy’s boarding school in Maine. There, Jack encounters Early Auden, the strangest of boys, who reads the number pi as a story and collects clippings about the sightings of a great black bear in the nearby mountains.

Newcomer Jack feels lost yet can’
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Random House Children's Books
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Morgan He is likely gifted. Early is also located on the autism spectrum. Children and teens with autism generally have an easier time learning things they…moreHe is likely gifted. Early is also located on the autism spectrum. Children and teens with autism generally have an easier time learning things they are interested in, such as Early's interest with Pi. (less)
Rebecca Totra Not really. But there is a 'side story' that Early is telling during the book that sort of parallels with the journey that Early and Jack take and…moreNot really. But there is a 'side story' that Early is telling during the book that sort of parallels with the journey that Early and Jack take and that seems to be pretty unrealistic so because of that it's sort of woven with a touch of fantasy. The parts I'm referring to when I say 'side story' is the part where Early is telling the story of Pi. Those chapters are indicated by word titles instead of just numbering the chapters.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Victor Almeida
Sabe o que é não conseguir parar de chorar? Foi uma corrente de lágrimas que começou e não parou mais, e sem nenhum impacto em específico. Não foi um acontecimento TCHAM - chorei. Foi a realização do todo. A correlação com as minhas próprias experiências. O apego aos personagens e ao universo. Essa história é incrivelmente linda, bem escrita, tocante, inocente e que te pega de surpresa. A narrativa é deliciosa, poética e misteriosa. Eu tô é chocado.

Eu me apaixonei desde o começo. Os personagens
Vitor Martins
"Minha mãe dizia que, se o mundo fosse virado de cabeça para baixo, daria para mergulhar no céu e nadar nele."

Eu não sei se vou saber explicar direitinho como esse livro é bonito. Em Algum Lugar nas Estrelas é uma história sobre amizade, perda, luto, e aqueles momentos da vida onde a gente simplesmente não sabe qual caminho seguir.

A escrita da Clare Vanderpool é leve e ao mesmo tempo impactante. Ela carrega muita beleza, muita poesia e vários socos no estômago. Early Auden é um dos personagens
Jan 18, 2013 Mitch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Navigating Early, I totally see why Clare Vanderpool won the Newbery last year. Hers are books that fall within that special category of middle grade fiction that speak as well to adults as to children, capturing not only the magic of childhood but also the hard hitting realizations of growing up. Even more impressively, I have to say her skillful yet subtle exploration of the themes of friendship, loss, and self discovery really snuck up on me here, and only serves to make this even mor ...more
Mar 13, 2013 Samuel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
The best characters in children's literature are ones we can believe as people. We read about Ramona Quimby, or Dicey Tillerman, or Bud Caldwell, and we feel like they're living, breathing human beings, people we wouldn't be surprised to meet. This is true even in books that aren't realistic fiction -- although the adventures of Meg O'Keefe, Will Stanton, and Lyra Belacqua may be otherworldly, their personalities are still recognizable and sharply focused. And, maybe most of all, it's true of ch ...more
Oct 20, 2012 Donalyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the artistry of this book, but often questioned the intended audience for this book. It seems like the kind of book that adults adore and few kids read. While promoted in some circles as a middle grade novel, I don't know of a single ten year old in the past decade I could have given this book to that would understand it or finish it.

Don't worry about who you are going to pass it to when you are done. Read Navigating Early for yourself and enjoy Vanderpool's gift for language and inte
Colby Sharp
Dear Heavy Medal Blog,

Good luck trying to tear this book apart. I'm sure that it will be a part of your Newbery discussions, and hope first look at all of the amazingness that this book contains.

Early is the type of character that once he enters a reader's heart he never leaves.

Your friend,

Mr. Sharp
Iara Picolo
Jun 24, 2016 Iara Picolo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Que história mais fofa!
Como os personagens se conhecem, como eles se entendem e como vão viver uma aventura em que imaginação e realidade são meio borradas. Nós, como leitores, não sabemos se eles estão vivendo ou inventando tudo e tudo bem, porque essa nem é a questão do livro. São duas crianças de 13 anos aprendendo sobre perdão, sobre perdas, sobre saudade e sobre amizade. Por mais que a narrativa engane em alguns momentos, é importante ler o livro tendo em mente que é uma criança que está t
Mayra Sigwalt
Mar 23, 2016 Mayra Sigwalt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: livros-que-tenho
Esse livro é uma história muito bonita sobre amizade, perdas, sobre relação de pais e filhos... mas acima de tudo, eu acho q é sobre se encontrar. O nosso personagem perdeu a mãe e é obrigado a ir estudar em um colégio militar onde ele se sente deslocado. O pai, que voltou da guerra, não consegue se comunicar com ele. Então ele se sente sozinho e abandonado. Até fazer amizade com o Early. Early é um menino bem diferente. Ele tem pequenas obsessões e vê o mundo onde os números são mais que símbol ...more
Allison Tebo
As personal challenge, I have decided that the majority of the books I read in 2017 are either ones recommended to me by my friends, or books my friends have rate 5 stars.

‘Navigating Early’ was given a 5 star rating by my friends, Jonathan Trout, Rebekah Eddy, and Grace Karlson - so I decided to check it out...

Only to discover that is just another one of those award winning children’s books that seem to be written with the sole purpose of disturbing its readers.

This book is essentially about g
Abigayle Claire
Well that was amazing. There were no coincidences, just boatloads of miracles in this story and its telling. Everything had a purpose and a place by the end. The characters were few and important and endearing. Early's strangeness and confidence combined with Jack's normality and turmoil was beautiful. Everything revolved around pi and direction, even more so than you'll find possible. It is tumultuous and somewhat intense, deep and still simple. Great for ages 12+
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Navigating Early is the story of three boys. Jackie, the protagnoist, a Kansas transpant who finds himself in a military boarding school in Maine after the sudden death of his mother. Jackie feels guilty about his mother's death, disconnected from his father and unsure about the world. He's learned some tough life lessons too young. Early, a strange but intelligent boy who lives more in his own head than reality. He too has experienced a loss. Instead of balling everything up inside like Jacky, ...more

Complete marginalia HERE.

"Finding your way doesn’t mean you always know where you’re going. It’s knowing how to find your way back home that’s important.”

What an inspiring, touching story about friendship, loss, family, connections, and love. What a wonderful story to start the new year with!
que coisa mais amadinha esse livro????? quero abraçar ele para sempre.
Aug 11, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read and loved Vanderpool’s heartwarming debut and Newberry Medal Winning Moon Over Manifest and are hoping to find the same depth of humanity in her sophomore novel, Navigating Early, you are in luck. In fact, my greatest criticism about Navigating Early is that it’s too thematically similar to Moon Over Manifest, so let me get that gripe out of the way before I can dive into why Navigating Early is such a wonderful read.

Both books involve children who are displaced–they have left what h
Oct 29, 2013 Louize rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, tfg-f2f, 2013
From The Page Walker

A Trail, A Bear, and A Soldier

To start off, this book is about grief, getting lost, then finding the right path back to life. In other words, it is hopeful. Like I said before, this book will stitch your heart back the right way. I think this is the right kind of inspiration that my countrymen and I badly needed in these catastrophic times.

“…the team captains had yet to learn: life can’t be held in a cup, and nothing lasts forever.”

The setting is set at the end of World War
Oh. My. Goodness. Guys. This book was amaaaazing. GAH. Literally one of the most well-written books I've ever read. Everything was woven together so perfectly to create a moving story with a valuable message.

So basically Early is autistic. (at least I think he is I don't remember if it was explicitly stated though) He reads the numbers in pi as the story of a young man. Jack is the main character, but through the book, Early tells Jack the story of Pi. Many of the chapters are from Pi's point o
It’s the end of World War II and 13-year-old Jack Baker’s father is finally coming back home. Unfortunately his return is marred by the death of the sudden wife he left behind and without knowing what to do with a son he barely knows, he sends Jack to a boarding school in Maine.

There, Jack meets Early Aiden, a strange boy who often misses lessons and who can always be found listening to records in his basement room where he also spends time reading the number pi as a story and collecting news cl
Jan 10, 2013 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"From the author of Newbery Medal book, "Moon Over Manifest", comes the odyssey-like adventure of two boys' incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters." Delacorte Press

I just finished "Navigating Early". This is an amazing story! Like "Moon Over Manifest" I could not put this book down.

Clare Vanderpool is a masterful story teller. I found this to be an interesting, poignant, layered story with some thing for boys and girl
Jun 17, 2016 Leo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Eu adorei o livro.
A autora criou uma atmosfera incrível, personagens incríveis e tudo isso é tratado de uma maneira muito bonita; numa história cheia de Frank Sinatra e Dias Chuvosos, uma busca por um soldado perdido, a história do 3,14 e a história de um pai e um filho, além de ser a história de dois amigos, uma amizade verdadeira e real.
O livro é sobre o Jackie, porém, NÃO TEM COMO você não amar o Early, um personagem incrível que te surpreende e te encanta a cada palavra.
A edição da Darkside,
Andre  Aguiar
Jun 10, 2016 Andre Aguiar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-favorites
Quando terminei o primeiro capítulo, bastante emocionado, eu percebi que essa leitura seria incrível. Os temas (a distância entre pessoas, o luto, a amizade, a família, o diálogo...) foram abordados de uma maneira bem sutil, mas mexeram muito comigo. A narrativa fantástica da autora é emocionante e o texto dela é gostoso de ler, apaixonante, daqueles que você gosta de cada página (incluindo os agradecimentos!!). Lindo!
From a purely craft perspective I don't think that this book is remarkable (so my rating might change when I'm more objective idk). But I found myself sobbing as I read one of the Stargazer sections, and that says a hell of a lot, doesn't it?
When a book is a slow-starter, it's not as tough as an audiobook. If you're halfway through the audiobook and you don't feel as if anything as happened, it's tough. Things definitely pick up halfway through, but will any kid stick with this? The reader is great. It's just a tough sell.
Mar 13, 2013 Caren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I really wanted to read this book since I liked the author's Newbery-winning "Moon Over Manifest" so much, however, I nearly put it aside about halfway through. It was slow going in the beginning; very well-written, but it just didn't grab me. I didn't give up on it though, and it picked up considerably in the second half. Ms. Vanderpool is a super talented writer and the book is layered with nuance. It is a Bildungsroman, with the two main characters each searching for answers in a bewildering ...more
Jan 05, 2015 Lynai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lynai by: Louize
Shelves: 2015-books
What a heartwarming read. My throat constricted and I had tears on my eyes. Early, you are an amazing kid. Looking forward to reading Moon Over Manifest.
More thoughts soon.


It’s been a while since I’ve read a middle-grade/children’s book and I was excited when I learned that the book club’s book of the month for January has chosen a book along this genre. There is something soothing and uplifting in a children’s book and Navigating Early is no exception. It tells a strong story about
Mar 08, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Navigating Early has an old-school Newbery feel - not because it's historical fiction, but because it feels like a book that could have been published thirty years ago. It feels like a book I could have read growing up. I didn't know they published books like this anymore.

Navigating Early can be by-the-numbers in terms of plot, in that it's very well-plotted and all its threads tie in neatly. It feels familiar, in a way, but it still manages to be surprising. It's about loneliness and grief and
Oct 31, 2015 Alexa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In short, I loved this story: it was captivating, enchanting, and downright magical. I wasn’t so much engrossed in the story as absorbed by it. It made me feel things I hardly knew could be felt, and it just may be my new favorite historical ever. :D
If you'd like to read more of my thoughts on this book, you can find the full review on Verbosity Book Reviews
What a book! I can't think of the last time I read something that I love so much. It's sad and happy and beautiful and so classically American in every way that's a good thing. I may become irritating about this book, forcing it on complete strangers and so on.
ashley nicole
Oct 11, 2016 ashley nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-fic
Wow, how can someone do that with words? This book literally left me speechless. It's such a beautiful story of heartache and healing. Definitely a tear jerker for me. I'm giving it 5 out of 5 stars!
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Clare Vanderpool, recipient of the 2011 Newbery Award, is a resident of Wichita, Kansas. She has a degree in English and Elementary Education and enjoys reading, going to the pool with her children, the television show Monk, and visiting the bookstores in her town.
More about Clare Vanderpool...

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“Sometimes it's best not to see your whole path laid out before you. Let life surprise you...There are more stars out there than just the ones with names. And they're all beautiful.” 45 likes
“Finding your way doesn't mean you always know where you're going. It's knowing how to find your way back home that's important.” 30 likes
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