Middle School / Books Rule!
Recommended books for grades 5-8

NAVIGATING EARLY, by Clare Vanderpool


The story: Jack and Early are outsiders at Morton Hill Academy: Jack’s mother died over the summer and he’s been uprooted by his dad, who just wants to forget. Early is just…weird…and the other kids ignore him. Together, they set out on a journey to bring someone back from the dead–and Jack learns more from Early Auden than he ever thought possible. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll even learn how to let his mother go.

Mrs. Friend says: If you’re looking for a story about two guys who don’t fit in–but who become friends despite all their differences–this is a great choice.  Although they didn’t have a word for it in World War 2 days, Early appears to be autistic…and his really different way of looking at everything around him, and his strange imagination, are both a problem and an inspiration for Jack.  Even though there aren’t any explosions, I liked this one a lot.


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