I just started reading Wendy Mass’s Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life. I am immediately drawn to the two main characters, Jeremy and his best friend Lizzy. Jeremy is great! Who can’t love a guy who names his fish Dog, Cat, Hamster, and Ferret? Told through Jeremy’s point of view, Mass writes, “All my fish are named after other animals because Mom won’t let me have real pets due to the fact that she is still mourning her childhood rabbit.” (p. 19). It’s clear from page one that Jeremy is a true worrier and afraid of a lot of things. “Honesty, I don’t see any reason to leave my neighborhood. Everything I could ever want or need is within a few blocks in any direction.” So how does Lizzy get him to do such crazy things? (p. 19)
And why do we often choose friends that are so different from ourselves? Lizzy is “a notorious troublemaker” with “a lot of opinions, usually negative.” (preface) She gets Jeremy to do all kinds of adventurous and crazy things. And here’s the best part: their friendship is so real! They are completely and utterly themselves with each other, accepting each other’s differences (aren’t we all different?), and always looking out for each other. I love when a book reminds the reader about true friendship. What makes their friendship so strong when they are so different? What defines a true friend? Could the answer be as simple as loyalty and unconditional love? And is that really so simple?
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life is turning out to have so much more! Jeremy and Lizzy are facing a true mystery. Together they are on a search to find the four keys that will unlock the strange box that Jeremy has just received for his thirteenth birthday. Supposedly inside the box is the “meaning of life.” Something tells me that the search itself will unravel the true mysteries of life. And I, for one, can’t wait to find out the answers. I’ve got to go now; I have a great book to finish!
Mrs. K. Smith