Posts Tagged 'life'

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  12 and up

# of Pages:  289

RAC Book:  Yes

Award Winner:  Iowa Teen Award 2009-2010

Jeremy Fink still mourns the loss of his father five years ago, which is why he is so happy when his father sends him a wooden box for his thirteenth birthday.  A lawyer had been holding it for him all this years.  The box claims to have the meaning of life in it, but requires four keys to open and unfortunately, they are lost.  As Jeremy and his best friend, Lizzy try to find the keys they end up meeting a lot of interesting people and Jeremy becomes very interested in their views of the meaning of life and what everyone’s purpose is on earth.  As the journey goes on Jeremy wonders if he is meant to open the box or if he is supposed to learn the meaning of life for himself.

Jeremy Fink’s story seems rather simple at first, but as the story evolves the reader sees that there are in fact many layers to this story as Jeremy learns about himself and all of the people he has developed relationships with.  The characters are interesting in a way that they are easily remembered and the reader cares what they have to say to Jeremy and Lizzy as they go on their quest.  The ending was very satisfying and leaves the reader thinking about Jeremy’s quest and his final conclusions.  Highly recommended for anyone from junior high to adulthood.

Right Behind You by Gail Giles

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of pages:  292 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

Kip murdered a child when he was nine years old and had to spend many years in psychiatric facilities in order to help him come to terms with that.  He was the youngest person in Alaska history to commit such a violent crime. Why did he do it?  Is he capable of doing something like that again? 

While Kip was trying to deal with his own feelings he was shielded from the outside world and was shocked to learn the torture his father had been put through.  Their house has been burned down and he had had to change jobs often.  As Kip prepares to enter the real world again he needs to decide if he can shed his old life and begin again as Wade.   Can anyone really leave their past behind or does it always catch up with you? 

Right Behind You tells the story of a boy trying to deal with the demons from his childhood, while also trying to live his life.  He needs to decide whether or not he deserves to live a normal life when the child he killed cannot.  He needs to decide what made him do it and whether or not he can refrain from such behaviors again.  Can he begin again or is he his own worst enemy?

 


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