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Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass

Posted by Caitie F on November 10, 2010

Title: Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
Author: Wendy Mass
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers (2006)
ISBN:  9780316058292
Rating: +++++

Summary (from goodreads):

In one month Jeremy Fink will turn thirteen. But does he have what it takes to be a teenager? He collects mutant candy, he won’t go more than four blocks from home if possible, and he definitely doesn’t like surprises. On the other hand, his best friend, Lizzy, isn’t afraid of anything, even if that means trouble now and then.

Jeremy’s summer takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious box arrives. According to the writing on the box, it holds the meaning of life! Jeremy is supposed to open it on his birthday, but the keys are missing, and only the keys can open the box without destroying what’s inside. Jeremy and Lizzy set off to find the keys, but when one of their efforts goes very wrong, Jeremy starts to think he’ll never be able to open the box. But what he doesn’t know is that there just might be other ways to find out the meaning of life.


This has been on my shelf for two years now and I cannot believe it took me so long to read it.

It had all the elements of a great book. I loved every single character. Jeremy was a funny, sweet, yet awkward kid trying to figure out his place in life without his dad around. His best friend Lizzy was a spitfire who would do anything for Jeremy, but had to do some things her way, even if it bugged others. She is the kind of best friend that everyone wants to have.

The best character in the book is gone before it even starts. Jeremy’s dad is everywhere in this book. He is where Jeremy gets his curiosity for knowledge, a taste for some adventure, and a respect for other’s things, all which play a big part in who Jeremy is and everything he does. If there were more people who lived their life like Jeremy’s dad, this world would be a much kinder place.

The answers to the meaning of life resonated with me, and I think will really make young people who read this book think about how they live their lives, in a good way.

The mystery of the keys was really thought out and made a lot of sense. I did not guess it beforehand, but it made me so happy.

Another great thing is what the story doesn’t do. It doesn’t have Jeremy’s single mom and Lizzy’s single dad get together like so many books would. It introduces a set of twins, but it doesn’t match them up with the main characters. It sticks to the story and does not add romance just to add it, which I really like n a middle grade book. Just because kids turn thirteen, doesn’t mean that everything changes and I am glad this book showed that.

This is a sweet, touching book. I will warn you, you may tear up at the end. If you have any kids 11-15 on your Christmas list, I would really recommend getting them this book. I am not even giving away my copy because I want my husband to put it in his middle school classroom…but I loved it so much that I may buy another copy just so I can give one away to someone else. It was that good!



2 Responses to “Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass”

  1. […] andHolly Black 60. The Maze Runner by James Dashner 61. Stay With Me by Garrett Freymann-Weyr 62. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass 63. Perfect by Natasha Friend 64. The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan 65. 66. 67. […]

  2. […] Holly Black 60. The Maze Runner by James Dashner 61. Stay With Me by Garrett Freymann-Weyr 62. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass 63. Perfect by Natasha Friend 64. The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan 65. The […]

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