by the author of "a mango colored space", "jeremy fink and the meaning of life" is a great mystery novel for kids. if you enjoy the work of blue balliet you'll want to check out this new offering from mass. on his thirteenth birthday, jeremy fink's father is told by a fortune teller on the pier in salt lake city that he will die when he is 40. his dad cannot help but let his life be coloured by this dire prediction, and so chooses to embrace life and live by the motto that one should always eat dessert first. in his 39th year, when jeremy is 8, jeremy's dad is killed in a car accident. never having quite gotten over this jeremy does not like surprises, has a limited diet of peanut butter sandwiches and candy, and refuses to venture more than four blocks from his apartment. shortly before jeremy's thirteenth birthday his mother receives a package in the mail. jeremy and his best friend lizzy cannot resist the temptation and open the package, only to find a locked box inscribed "the meaning of life: for jeremy fink to open on his 13th birthday". the box is from jeremy's dad. however, the box needs four keys to be opened, and the keys have been lost. thus, jeremy and his friend lizzy are thrust into an adventure that will take them through the summer and they will go places, do things and meet people that they never would have suspected. as jeremy races against time to find the lost keys that will unlock the meaning of life in time for his thirteenth birthday. this is an exciting mystery that kids will be excited to solve.