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?
And this year there’s a bonus…Spirit Week. Those of you going to Florida will also need some reading materials for the plane and the van rides, right?
I’ve been reading books for the YALSA Best of the Best Challenge. These are all books that received some type of recognition from YALSA awards committees for being outstanding in their category. The two books I have to suggest today are ones that are on that list.
Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks paired up on the graphic novel Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong and landed on the Great Graphic Novels list. This is a fun story pitting the robotics club against the cheerleaders for school funding. And the school’s star basketball player is caught in between (since his best friend is the head of the robotics club and the head cheerleader is his ex-girlfriend). When things get out of hand, both groups lose any chance at getting funded. So the come up with an alternate plan…robot cage fighting…on Thanksgiving. You can’t see how that might go badly, can you?
(Faith Erin Hicks is one of my new favorites…she has lots of web comics that are worth checking out.)
On a completely different note is Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon, a Printz Honor book. I’m not even sure how to describe this particular book. Standish Treadwell has two different colored eyes and a learning disability. He and his grandfather live under an oppressive government (could this be somewhere in Europe if Germany had won WWII?). Standish’s best friend has disappeared. A moon man has appeared. And Standish may very well topple the image the government has worked to hard to cultivate. It’s a strange little story, but definitely interesting.
By the way…if anyone is interested in doing our own best of the best challenge, please let me know and we’ll come up with our own parameters (you can also go to The Hub and sign up to do the challenge yourself).
And finally, many of the awards lists ask for input from the public. If you’ve read a new graphic novel that you think should be considered for Great Graphic Novels, come and tell me and we’ll submit it to the committee.