By Wendy Mass
Published by Little, Brown and Company
Copyright © 2006
Jeremy Fink is about to turn thirteen and he has never been more than two blocks from his apartment unaccompanied. He has a fixation with time travel, he hates change, he loves candy (especially mutant candy), and he has fish named cat, dog, and ferret. Other than that he is relatively normal for a boy whose father died five years ago.
Lizzy, his neighbor and best friend, is completely the opposite. She is a tomboy who eats healthy, has a penchant for lying and stealing (nothing valuable mind you), collects stray playing cards, and says what she thinks. She once again, is relatively normal for a girl whose mother left when she was young.
Their summer seems like it is going to be the same old hat, until Jeremy receives a package in the mail that his father he had been saving for his thirteenth birthday. It is a strange box with four keyholes and on the lid is written “The Meaning of Life”. There is only one problem. The people who sent the box lost the keys and Jeremy’s thirteenth birthday is only a month away. So Jeremy and Lizzy set out on a quickly derailed adventure to find the keys to “The Meaning of Life”.
Wendy mass has written a touching and enjoyable coming of age novel that focuses on healing from the loss of parents and living in the now. Jeremy Fink has spent so much time trying to figure out how to change the past that he hasn’t spent nearly enough time living in the present and looking to the future. His search for the keys and the contents of the box help him to begin that transition.