Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

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Published by: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: November 16, 2006
Pages: 304
ISBN13: 978-0316058292


Twelve-year-old Jeremy receives a wooden box in the mail with the words, “The Meaning of Life—for Jeremy Fink to open on his 13th birthday.” He recognizes the box as his dad’s handiwork, although his dad passed away five years earlier. The box has four locks, requiring four keys. But the keys are missing. He and his best friend Lizzy set off on a quest through the streets of Manhattan to find the keys before time runs out.

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Reviews & Awards

“'My sweat smells like peanut butter.' So opens Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, a moving, hilarious and altogether engaging tale of self-discovery by Wendy Mass.…Mass manages to create both a mystery and a universal story. And she does it with no hint of moralizing or pretension. The characters have believable quirks: Jeremy collects mutant candy, is fearful of using public transportation, prefers to stay in his house or neighborhood and is obsessed with junk food. Lizzie has a collection of accidentally found playing cards, likes adventure but lacks judgment, is used to taking care of herself and her father, and makes quick decisions.…And everyone in this story is looking, in his or her own way, for the meaning of life. Mass stays true to her characters and doesn't wimp out on the ending. Jeremy does discover the meaning of life, and you will, too. This is an unforgettable book that you will want to give to someone the minute you reluctantly turn the final page."

"What is the meaning of life? Mass (A Mango-Shaped Space) introduces a winning narrator who attempts to answer this question and ends up accomplishing much more....Much of the novel's charm derives from Jeremy and Lizzy's unique friendship.…Jeremy and Lizzy find what they are looking for and more, but not where or in the way they expected. This exquisitely executed plot twist, combined with an ending that requires a few tissues, makes this soulful novel one not to miss."
Publishers Weekly *starred review

"Jersey author Wendy Mass' endearing characters make Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life a joy."
New Jersey, The Star-Ledger

"Thanks to Ms. Mass for such an emotional, heartfelt read. This is a book perfect for both middle-school readers and older teens, and you won't go wrong picking up a copy for your library."

Winner of "Best Familiy Film" at the Garden State Film Festival 2012!!

BREAKING NEWS....THE MOVIE VERSION IS AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE ON DVD AND DIGITAL DOWNLOAD!! ! VISIT JEREMYFINK.NET TO SEE THE TRAILER, and I'll continue to update my blog with news as it happens! See the IMDB page for cast info.

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life was:

  • nominated for the 2009-2010 Iowa Teen Award
  • nominated for 2009-2010 New Mexico's Annual Children's Choice Award (Land of Enchantment Book Award)
  • nominated for the 2010 Nutmeg Book Award in Connecticut
  • nominated for the 2010 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award in Illinois
  • nominated for the 2008-2009 North Carolina School Library Media Association YA Book Award
  • nominated for the Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award 2008-2009
  • nominated for the 2009 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award
  • chosen as VOYA's Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2007
  • nominated for the 2009 Grand Canyon Reader Award (formerly the Arizona Young Readers' Award)
  • nominated for the 2008-2009 Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award
  • chosen as a Booksense pick
  • selected for the 2007-2008 Texas Lone Star Reading List
  • named a Junior Library Guild Premier Selection
  • listed in the 2007 New York Public Library's Best Books for the Teen Age