After Jackie's mother dies suddenly at their Kansas home in 1945, his naval officer father enrolls him in a Maine boarding school near the naval base. Jackie soon meets Early Auden, a strange boy whose embellished autonomy leads both into uncharted waters with the number Pi as a guide. Strong writing and underlying symbolism related to Ulysses and Aeneas enhance the story. Ten to Fourteen. Lynda Adamson
When thirteen-year-old Jack Baker's mother dies, his father a naval officer moves Jack from landlocked Kansas to Maine, and enrolls him in al all boys prep school. When his father is supposed to come for a visit but does not, Jack decides to accompany Early Auden, an odd classmate on a quest on the Appalachian Trail. Early is on a mission - to search for his brother whom he believes is still alive although he was reported missing in action in WWII and presumed dead. Jack is rutterless. However, he does need a friend and Early will do. This is a wonderful story of friendship, loss and discovery. This novel is possibly better than Newbery winner Moon over Manifest, for it delves deeper into the soul. The audio is narrated in a matter of fact way by Tobbie Daymond with the story within the novel narrated with an adult voice by Mr. Bramhall which makes for a nicely paced and entertaining audio. Ages 10+ Maria E. Gentle
While missing his dog and trying to protect his secret, Travis avoids other students at his despicable new school. But the flamboyant Velveeta notices and asks many questions. When she discovers Travis’s motives, the two become something each desperately needs--friends.
Ella, Gus’s elderly dog, promises Gus that she will always be with him, but after she dies, Gus spends a lonely Halloween cavorting with skeletons in the cemetery. Gus’s reappearance is part of the night’s spooky but endearing magic. Firm horizontals and thickly outlined figures keep the story grounded.