Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass (Little, Brown paperback, February 2008, for ages 8 to 12)
Source: purchased from The Big Blue Marble Bookstore, an indie bookstore in Philadelphia, on a trip to visit my friend Mariga, who works there.
Synopsis (back cover copy and Indiebound): Jeremy Fink is about to turn thirteen. He collects mutant candy, he won't venture more than four blocks from his apartment if he can help it, and he definitely doesn't like surprises. On the other hand, his best friend, Lizzy, isn't afraid of anything, even if that might get her into trouble now and then.
When a mysterious box arrives for Jeremy with the words The Meaning of Life engraved on the lid, Jeremy and Lizzy can't wait to find out what's inside. But the box is locked, so they set off an on adventure around Manhattan to find the keys to life's biggest mystery.
Why I liked it: You've gotta love a book that starts with this line:
My sweat smells like peanut butter.
The almost-teen boy voice is fantastic. And I loved the dynamic between Jeremy and Lizzy. The adventure with the keys brings Jeremy out of his shell, so there's plenty of character growth. And the ending was not at all what I expected.
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I'm excited that Wendy Mass has a new book coming in September, The Last Present, set in the Willow Falls universe of 11 Birthdays, Finally, and 13 Gifts. Leo and Amanda get to travel through time! Can't wait. Release date: September 24, 2013.
For other MMGM links, visit Shannon's blog.
If you read Jeremy Fink, what did you think of it? And what books are you looking forward to in September?