"The meaning of life for Jeremy Fink on his 13th birthday." This is the inscription on the box in the package Jeremy receives a month before his birthday. The package is from his dad, who had given it to a friend to deliver before he died in a car accident, years ago. The box can only be opened with a set of four keys, which are scattered across New York. Jeremy has no idea where the keys are, but he is determined to find his father's secret to what life is all about. He and his best friend Lizzie set out to find the keys.
Jeremy is hesitant to travel very far from his home, because he's never been more than four blocks from his house before. He only eats peanut butter sandwiches, and collects messed up candy. Lizzie, on the other hand, is ready for anything. She is always eager, even if it means getting in trouble. That's how they end up having to do community service helping an elderly man make deliveries.
The man is very mysterious, and has them deliver strange things to strange people. All the while, Jeremy and Lizzie are still searching for the keys. They go everywhere, from flea markets to churches to fortune tellers. It will be very difficult to find the keys; after all, they could be anywhere in New York.
Meanwhile, Jeremy's birthday is fast approaching. Will he and Lizzie find the keys before his birthday? Or even find the keys at all? And even if they do, will Jeremy be disappointed by whatever is in the box? Written by Wendy Mass, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life is a great story about finding yourself in the big mess we call life. This is a wonderful book, and it gets five stars. I would recommend it to anyone, boys and girls, from ten to one hundred and ten.