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Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life    by Wendy Mass order for
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
by Wendy Mass
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Weaver

Following in the footsteps of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Wendy Mass gives her reader a young, male protagonist of extreme intellect. Jeremy Fink is a peculiar candy addict with an eye for detail and an eagerness to learn. He spends an hour each night developing his interests and reading up on them, alone in his room. He is especially interested in time travel, as he hopes to go back and change the car accident where his father died.

One month before his thirteenth birthday, Jeremy and his best friend Lizzy find an odd package in the Fink's mail. They open it to discover a wooden box, carved with the words 'The Meaning of Life,' and accompanied by directions for Jeremy to open it on his thirteenth birthday. It is from Jeremy's father, who has been deceased for five years.

The rest of the book follows Jeremy and Lizzy as they travel throughout New York City trying to find the keys for the box. These young protagonists are believable twelve-year-olds and enjoyable to read about. Mass has been praised by Judy Blume as 'a writer to watch.' I think any young teen would enjoy Mass's novel and be as enraptured as Jeremy is in whether he will find the keys or not, and what, exactly, might be the meaning of life?

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