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Mass, Wendy.
Boston : Little, Brown, 2006
IL 5-8, RL 5.0
ISBN 0316058297

(2 booktalks)

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Booktalk #1

Twelve-year-old Jeremy receives a wooden box in the mail with the words, “The Meaning of Life—for Jeremy Fink to open on his 13th birthday.” He recognizes the box as his dad’s handiwork, although his dad passed away five years earlier. The box has four locks, requiring four different keys. But the keys are missing. He and his best friend Lizzy set off on a quest through the streets of Manhattan to find the keys before time runs out.  (Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards nominee, 2008-2009)

Booktalk #2

Have you ever wondered what the meaning of life is? In this realistic fiction book Jeremy Fink is an almost 12 year old boy who lost his father in a car crash when he was nine. One day during the summer Jeremy gets a mysterious package addressed to his mother, but with the help of his friend, Lizzy, opens it anyway. Inside Jeremy finds a box with four keyholes that says, "For Jeremy, the meaning of life. Open on 13th birthday." Jeremy asks his mother about the box and she tells him that it was going to be a gift from his father on his birthday, but after he died, she sent the box away for safe keeping at the bank and the four separate keys to the box were lost from the box when it was being taken to the bank. Now it is a race against time to find the keys before Jeremy's birthday in 2 weeks. And it doesn't help that Jeremy and Lizzy have to do community service all over New York City for a strange Mr. Oswald during the summer because they got charged with breaking and entering into someone's office. I recommend this book to 7th and 8th graders and give it a 4 out of 5 stars. To find out if Jeremy and Lizzy find the keys before Jeremy's 13th birthday read "Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life," by Wendy Mass.  (Adam B., student)

SUBJECTS: Conduct of life -- Fiction.
                    Self-realization -- Fiction.
                    Fathers and sons -- Fiction.

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