This book has been hanging around the library for about a year now and I’ve talked about it before. But it is an obvious choice to talk about this week.
Navigating Early is set around the end of WWII. Jack’s mother has just died, and his military father has moved him from Kansas to a boarding school in Maine. While there, Jack meets one of the school’s quirkier students, Early Auden. When Jack and Early are left on campus during a school break, they take off on an adventure.
So, why is this book relevant to this week? Part of the story hinges on the idea that there are mathematicians who believe Pi is not infinite. Remember, this book is set before computers were everywhere and could do everything. There is one mathematician who noticed one number seemed to stop repeating and he took this as a sign that Pi would end. This is particularly distressing for Early who has created a story around the number Pi about a young man named Pi who was sent on a journey and must find his way home. Early’s story is closely related to that of his brother Fisher who was killed in WWII, although Early steadfastly believes his brother is still alive.
This is a fantastic book – a Printz honor book from 2014. It’s got adventure, pirates, fabled bears, and math. What more could you want from a story?