Regular price: $25.20

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

At the end of World War II, Jack Baker, a landlocked Kansas boy, is suddenly uprooted after his mother's death and placed in a boy's boarding school in Maine. There, Jack encounters Early Auden, the strangest of boys, who reads the number pi as a story and collects clippings about the sightings of a great black bear in the nearby mountains. Newcomer Jack feels lost yet can't help being drawn to Early, who won't believe what everyone accepts to be the truth about the Great Appalachian Bear, Timber Rattlesnakes, and the legendary school hero known as The Fish, who never returned from the war.

When the boys find themselves unexpectedly alone at school, they embark on a quest on the Appalachian Trail in search of the great black bear. But what they are searching for is sometimes different from what they find. They will meet truly strange characters, each of whom figures into the pi story Early weaves as they travel, while discovering things they never realized about themselves and others in their lives.

©2013 Clare Vanderpool (P)2013 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"This multilayered, intricately plotted story has a kaleidoscopic effect, blurring the lines between reality and imagination, coincidence and fate." (Publishers Weekly)
"Newbery Medal-winning author Vanderpool's sharp, honest narrative, sparkling with the stars of the night sky, pieces together an elaborate, layered plot with precision, weaving multiple threads into a careful, tidy conclusion perfectly suited for those, like Jack and Early, who want to believe." (Booklist)
"Returning to themes she explored so affectingly in Moon Over Manifest, Newbery Medalist Vanderpool delivers another winning picaresque about memories, personal journeys, interconnectedness - and the power of stories." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    102
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    106
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    96
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Reads Like a Newberry

I loved Clare's "Moon Over Manifest" which won the Newberry. This has a similar feel, a gentle, deep story of two Maine boarding school boys having lost family members and coming to terms with it. There is a weaving of past and present, fantasy and reality as the boys follow in the footsteps of a legend... I felt it was nicely done and easy to follow. You do have to suspend your disbelief... but it isn't jarring most of the time. One of the boys is high functioning autistic with OCD, seizures and unusual math abilities... watching the boys friendship grow despite their differences is part of the joy of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Julie
  • San Jose, CA, United States
  • 03-22-13

Great Character Study

I like coming of age stories and this one was very good. The picaresque elements are satisfying as the two engaging main characters search for important answers. The fairly obvious allegorical use of the Pi story makes an interesting background, and I really enjoyed Mark Bramhall's reading of those elements. I think this would make an excellent vehicle for teaching the novel to the middle-school grades.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very enjoyable!

The narration was very well done- great choice for the voice actor. Unique storyline with an unpredictable ending.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellant

Cool story with lots of detail and thought invoking events. The narrator's performance and the clarity of the recording were great! However, I could hear a few obvious edits. Overall a must listen.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Navigating Early

I think I now have a new favorite author !! Clare Vanderpool can weave a story that will keep you captivated from first page to last! She is a master at weaving two stories together , and her characters are friends 7 would be happy to know..
Excellant narration, a masterful tale.
I want more..!!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Powerful story

Powerful story of navigating loss and finding life. I was not prepared for the tears I would shed. So beautifully written and perfectly narrated. My favorite part is the amazing amount of closure the author gives us at the end like a warm blanket and a cup of tea. Thank you!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story

Loved this story. It took me a while to get into it at first but... Early and Jackie are such well crafted interesting complex characters that I became wrapped up in their life!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

intriguing story

This is a well written, intricately woven story. The narration was very well done. It's plot tied many threads of storyline together.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Michelle
  • Mission Viejo, CA, United States
  • 02-25-13

Nice, but predictable coming of age story

I liked the parallels between Early's made up story and real life. I always like stories about kids in boarding school.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Rae
  • Sedgwick, KS, United States
  • 02-24-13

Strong Imagery and Amazing Colloquialisms!

Would you consider the audio edition of Navigating Early to be better than the print version?

Great word choice and delightful characters!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Navigating Early?

"If you don't like how it is, then fix it!" <br/><br/>How many times have we heard that, only to begrudgingly choose to live with the situation rather than change it? When Early offers the advice to Jack we begin to understand how Early's view of the world is influenced, not by what he can't control, ---but rather by the things he can. His fearlessness is admirable and his sense of determination even more so.<br/>

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This narrator has a wonderful way of making you feel like you are a part of the story --rather than someone who is just being read to.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I loved how this book transported me to a time and place from my own childhood where the words of adults didn't always make sense ---until given the opportunity to observe those words in action. <br/><br/>If you loved hearing the colloquialisms, metaphors, similes, and "ways" of the adults who empowered you as a child, then you will love this book. The tried and true sayings and the words of wisdom resonated on a deeper level for me. They reminded me of the people who shaped my own thinking.<br/><br/><br/><br/>

Any additional comments?

I am a big fan of Clare Vanderpool's first book and loved this one equally as much. While I am no longer a classroom teacher, I do know that students love being read to. This book would be an amazing read aloud. It offers strong imagery, great descriptions and fun colloquialisms that help add color and depth to the story. <br/><br/>The use of Pi as a character, rather than just a math reference, offers a parallel reflection for how Early is really feeling. It helps the reader both understand what has happened and the foreboding of what is coming.<br/><br/>I appreciated the way the two main characters both searched for what they had lost, ---Early for his brother, and Jack for the loving memory of his mother and the pain of a disconnected father. Watching both characters grow as the story unravels helps the reader understand their respective sense of loss and how they each grapple with it. <br/><br/>Do yourself a favor --give this book a chance. You won't be disappointed.<br/>

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Shaz
  • 12-02-16

amazing book

I read lots of books, most of them I really enjoy. every once in a while I find an amazing book that stays with me. Navigating Early is one of these, I laughed and cried. the author has made the characters so real dealing with so many things you come across in youth and adulthood. I love early, this is a book I shall keep to read again. thank you for this story

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jess
  • 02-03-16

beautiful story

absolutely loved this story. very sweet.
drifts is and out between the novel you are reading and story within the story. love the authors note at the end.