Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Second Half of Jeremy Fink

The first several chapters of Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life were enjoyable because I was getting to know the characters, and Wendy Mass was great at making these characters interesting and real. However, it was the second half of the book that I LOVED! I know it's a Young Adult novel, but the messages that permeated the final chapters were ones that would benefit people of all ages.
Without giving away the entire plot (I need to be very careful here), these are some the messages the I took away from the book as I read: Choices, good or bad, will shape your life. Even a person who has left your life may still be thinking about you. Living simply and without too many "things" will make your life more peaceful. Life is full of potential. (I loved the apple seed quote and you just may find it hanging in my classroom this September.) Truly important things are worth struggling for. Challenge yourself by doing something you find difficult and you'll grow in self-confidence and self-esteem. And finally, although there are so many more, growing up doesn't always mean growing apart. My question to you is this: Which of the many lessons found in this book do you think is most important? Today, for me, it's the message about living simply. I say "today" because next month it might be about friendship or potential. I think the answer changes depending on our struggles at the time.
Finally, although I loved all the reminders about what's important, I didn't get choked-up or teary-eyed until page 285. Because I don't want to spoil the ending (which I thought was AMAZING), I will just tell you that it was Jeremy's Rock #1. You'll know what I mean when you read it. That part really hit me and I had to put the book down to grip my emotions. I've lived a lot of years (no, I'm not telling you how many) but his Rock #1 was hands-down the most important thing to always remember. I'm curious. Was there a particular point in this book that hit you hard? If so, what was it?
In summary, this book ROCKS! Wendy Mass is an awesome storyteller, and I am trying to get someone in my family to read it now so that I don't need to wait until September to talk about it. Blog me!
Mrs. K. Smith


  1. Hi! I am so happy that you loved the book! I am thinking about having a book club with students in the fall, so I will have to have the club meet when you are available. What about 6th grade lunch when you have team plan? Students, would you join the book club?

    Of course, I loved the book, and it made me cry. If I remember correctly, Wendy Mass told me that she didn't know how she was going to write the ending until she got there! Isn't that amazing?

    I, too, like the lessons about living simply and treasuring the moments we have with our loved ones.

    If you are going to the bookstore/public library, or if you just want to wait until you get to HBW, you should read So B. It by Sarah Weeks. (Also available in Kindle.) This book was recommended to me by the former media specialist, Mrs. Purpura. It's a heart-warming story about a girl who goes on a journey to find out more about her mother, who is mentally handicapped. Here's the summary from Amazon:

    One day in her apartment in Reno, Bernadette heard a pitiful sound in the hallway. She opened the door a crack and saw a young woman standing there in her raincoat, her bare legs spattered with dried mud, holding a crying baby wrapped in a blanket. The baby was Heidi, and they had come from the almost-empty apartment next door for help. Heidi's Mama can't tend her week-old child because she has, as Heidi later says, "a bum brain," so Bernadette steps in and cares for them both tenderly. Mama says her name is "So Be It," but with her twenty-three-word vocabulary, this is all the information she can give Bernadette.

    Twelve years later this strange but loving household is still together. Heidi does the shopping because Bernadette has "angora phobia," and pays for it with money she wins at the laundromat; Bernadette teaches her at the kitchen table while Mama is happily occupied with her coloring books, and the rent and utilities are always mysteriously paid. But Heidi wonders who she is, where she and Mama came from, why they were alone, and most of all, she wants to know the meaning of Mama's word "soof." When she finds some old photos in a cupboard, she knows where to go to find out, and as she sets out on a long cross-country bus journey, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into surprising places in this intriguing and heartwarming mystery. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

    If you read So B. It, post about it.
    -Mrs. Kleinknecht

  2. Wow, Jen, what a great recommendation! I think the book club is a great idea.