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Navigating Early is the saddest and the best book I’ve ever read. It’s mostly about two boys, Jack Baker and Early Auden, and it takes place at the end of World War II. Jack and Early both live in Maine, where they go to an all-boys school. After they become friends, they go on a quest to find Fisher Auden, Early’s thought-to-be-dead brother. They travel north following Polaris, the North Star, through the state of Maine, looking for Fisher. At first they take a boat up a river. When their boat is captured by pirates, they keep walking north on the Appalachian Trail. During their six-day journey, they encounter many obstacles and surprises, including a great black bear and an old woman who’s been waiting 50 years for her son to come home. I recommend this book to people who like adventure and can believe in impossible things.    

Why is it sad? Because some people in the story have died—Jack’s mother and Early’s parents. When the boys remember them, sometimes they cry. The memories are sad. 

Why is it the best book I ever read? Because it has very good detail, it’s never boring and you always want to find out what happens next. The characters are well-described and you know what every one of them is like. I’d like to be friends with Jack and Early and some of their friends.   

Review written by Jett Pulizzi