Thursday, July 4, 2013

Navigating Early: Pi in July!

It's rare to find a chapter book that skillfully weaves a math concept into story, but you'll find that and more in Clare Vanderpool's new book, Navigating Early.
After his mother's death, Jack finds himself suddenly enrolled in a private boys' school and meets Early*, an orphan on a quest to find his older brother, believed to have died in a WWII battle. The boys follow a trail mapped by a fantastical tale based on the colors and images that Early sees in the numbers of the sequence in pi.
*Although not explicitly labeled in the story, the author's notes explain that, "By our standards today, Early might be diagnosed with a high-functioning form of autism."

The boy's pi  journey includes adventure sure to captivate: pirates, skeletons, kidnappers, mysterious deaths, a stolen gun, and more. It will, IMO, probably be made into a movie someday!

I finished reading it last week and immediately took it up as a read aloud for my 10yo son. Don't miss it. You'll also find more math-related children's books on the gigantic list.

Note: The author shares about the origins of the story on her website.

Disclosure:  Any purchases made through the Amazon link will result in a small commission (at no cost to you) which will be given to Grace and Hope, providing foster care for children in China. Thanks!


  1. Thanks! Just put it on hold at the library.

  2. This book looks fabulous! I just added it to my Amazon cart so that I can grab it during my next order. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Jennifer Smith-Sloane

  3. What age/grade level would you suggest for this book?

    1. Carolyn, the suggested age is 10, which makes sense to me. So 4th grade or so and up?? It's long (300 pages) and has pretty mature subject matter.

    2. Thanks! I have a 7 year old who loves to read and is a math guy, too. (He reads on a 5th or 6th level, and is starting to learn multiplication and division facts.)I was wondering about the subject matter, though. I guess we will hold off for a while yet.

    3. You might want to pre-read it and see what you think. My 7yo wouldn't be able to handle it, but yours might.


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