Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Really enjoyed reading this, but I'm not sure how many kids would stick with it. It takes a while for the story to set up and yes, Early is different. Would that intrigue a kid or just make him think the story was weird? I'm not really sure. I for one found Early adorable and see characteristics of a couple of the autistic kids I know in him.
I'm a bit disappointed that the surprise at the ending actually occurred. No, I won't go into more detail than that, but I remember thinking of the surprise as a possibility while I was reading. I immediately discarded the idea because I was sure that it was too predictable and something too commonly done in children's books. It did make for a better story of course, but it was the easy way out. (If you've read NE, you know what I'm talking about.)
I rate this story a solid B. It had the potential of being an A book, but my disappointment in the predictability at the ending lowered my rating.