Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass.
Little, Brown and Company: NY, 2006.

One month from his thirteenth birthday, Jeremy receives a wooden box from his long-dead father. An inscription on the box says it holds the meaning of life. Its four keys are missing, and as Jeremy and his best friend Lizzy soon learn, only the keys can open it without destroying the contents.

Lizzy immediately has plans to find the keys, pulling Jeremy out of his neighborhood and comfort zone. One of the plans lands them in community service where Jeremy finds that he can learn about the meaning of life through discussion and observation. There are a few excellent ideas on the subject, including that it is different for each of us.

This book has been on my Read List for a couple years. I've always liked the title. Every Soul a Star reminded me of it, and though the reading level and characters are slightly younger, it is every bit as good. Both are unique, Knock Your Socks Off kinds of books. Jeremy, Lizzy and Mr. Oswald are great characters, with some interesting extras thrown in. Their quest is different as are the smaller stories along the way. The ending was totally unexpected.

related-conduct and purpose of life, coming of age, self-realization, fathers and sons, friendship, collections, hobbies
RL=6th & up

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