Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
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Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  10,763 ratings  ·  1,139 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...more
Paperback, 289 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published November 1st 2006)
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Adriana
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
Will
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...more
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
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina
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...more
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...more
Megan
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...more
Beth
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...
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
Kelsie
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
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...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...more
Alina
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
Inhalt
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...more
Laura
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...more
Portia
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...more
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....more
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...more
Anthony
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
Shannon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly
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...more
Slwendling

Summary
This is about Jeremy and his best friend Lizzy to open the box his father left him when he died.
Passage page 285 paragraph 4
When I hear Mr. Oswald close the door, I turn back. Next to the porch are some small shrubs with white rock surrounding them. I pick up a rock and shove it in my pocket. Rock #1:From the day I realized that love is stronger than deathand that people you barely know can amaze you,13.
Reason
The reason that I chose this passage was first Jeremy's father had died when...more
KWinks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim
While taking my neice and nephew through the children's section of Barnes & Nobles a few years ago, I aimlessly glanced at one of the main displays. At a quick glance of the title font, I passed it off as a "kiddie" book. However, remembering the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover", I actually read the title and was intrigued. I usually read a couple of pages while in the store to see if it's worth it.

Quickly, I took up the book after a few pages, and equally as fast, I read through th...more
Mallory
okay, so I liked how this book ended, where it all tied together (kind of like in thirteen gifts), but a few things in the middle bothered me. first, jeremy ONLY ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! it was annoying how stubborn he was! I know it was supposed to be one of those quirks unique to your character, but I hated it. on his birthday, his mom and grandma pack a picnic, but don't bring his pb and j. he freaks out! then his mom is like, I'm kidding jeremy. here you go. and hands him his...more
Paula
At times the main character seems one-dimensional. The middle of the book gets a bit too cerebral and preachy for its target audience. That said, there are some delightfully good things about this book. Supporting characters that are charming and would make good subjects for a book of their own (like the grandmother who owns a B&B with 12 rooms and 12 cats . . . one for each room that comes with "care and feeding instructions for your temporary cat.") This is not a book for a poor reader--th...more
Nancy
I read this book the week that I went to my brother in laws funeral. I needed a book to help me deal with the grief and the pain of everyone around me. the sweet story and the characters helped me focus my mind, helped me embrace the good moments that come when death is close by, and helped me remember to smile. I am eternally grateful for novels!
Kristin
Jan 12, 2008 Kristin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle school students
Recommended to Kristin by: Jaclyn (6th grader)
This book has kind of an addictive quality to it. As I was reading, I wasn't sure how much I liked it. But the characters stuck in my mind and eventually grew on me. By the end of the book, I was thouroughly hooked. It's definitely a journey that you have to take through the entire book, but the ending is quite powerful. So overall I did like this book. But I still think that A Mango-Shaped Space is Wendy Mass' best book.

Added later:
I have to say though...one of my sixth graders (whom I really...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 Finally (Willow Falls, #2) The Candymakers

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“Do you ever think if people heard our conversations they'd lock us up?"
All the time.”
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“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.”
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