2007 Book: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
By Jonathan Safran Foer
"Nine-year-old Oskar Schell finds a key within a blue vase among his father's possessions after he dies in the World Trade Center disaster of 9/11. Oskar embarks on a remarkable quest to find the door that the key opens. His story is interwoven with those of others, and at times will make the reader wonder what is going on. Keep reading! The tale, at times, is laugh-out-loud-funny and at others, poignantly painful; but throughout, it is absolutely amazing!"
—Lynn Walden, One Book, One Community Committee Member
"Some people will tell you this is a book about 9/11. It's not. Others will tell you that there's no way this eight year old narrator is believable. They're missing the point. Foer believes that "Sometimes you have to tell certain lies of reality in order to tell certain truths of emotion." That Oskar is occasionally a little wise beyond his years should not distract readers from the crux of the story: how does one cope with a devastating loss? After Oskar's dad was killed in the WTC attacks, Oskar finds a mysterious key, one that he thinks may be part of a treasure hunt game they used to play. This quest to find one last link to his father is the heart of this remarkable novel.
Now that he has two books out, I can see a style emerging: quirky, loveable narrators, humorous yet wrenching storylines, and his own way of looking at the world. For above all, Foer is a lover of language; he sees potential in the mundane, and transforms those words into glorious images all his own. I read this book in one sitting - no lunch, no bathroom breaks, just little Oskar and me, wandering around the streets of New York, searching for answers."
—Dana Schulz, Snowbound Books
2007 Archived Events: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close By Jonathan Safran Foer
Author Jonathan Safran Foer reading and Q&A (interactive TV via New York City):
- Oct. 22, NMU University Center Michigan Rooms, 7 p.m.
- This event will also be available via streaming video, and archived for later viewing. Free and open to the public. Follow this link to watch Author Jonathan Safran Foer Reading and Q&A.
NMU Alumni Association book party with local author John Smolens
- Nov. 1,Marquette Federated Women's Clubhouse (across from Peter White Library), 7 p.m.
- NMU grads are invited to enjoy dessert, coffee and conversation about Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and learn about John Smolens’ upcoming book.
Tie-in movie: "Hijacking Catastrophe"
- Nov. 5, Peter White Library, 7 p.m. in collaboration with NMU's Geography Department.
"A Key to Me" Creative Works Display and Reception
- Nov. 8, Downtown Marquette Commons, 7 p.m.
- Create a visual or written account of the story of a key. Make a poster, a mobile, collage, poem, short story…something that shows yoru key and what it means to you and your family’s history. Works should fit on a poster board or smaller display. Include artist name and contact information. Bring works to Chapter Two Bookstore, 124 N. Third Street, Marquette, through November 2. After the Commons event, works will be displayed at Peter White Public Library.
Family Inventor’s Fair and Contest
- Nov. 13, West Branch Community Center, Sawyer, 7 p.m.
- Inspired by Oskar Schell, the main character in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, participants are invited to bring in their “inventions” for display. Children, youth and adults are encouraged to create inventions based on the idea of “improving.” Recycled items, garage materials or anything else can be used for materials. Prizes will be given for the top three inventions in each category. If desired, bring a snack or a dessert to share. Anyone who brings a can of food for the Can-A-Thon will receive one “W” family day pass. Children ages 5-7 can participate in book-related activities, game and movies. Tot-watch is available for $6 for children ages 2-7 (two-week advance registration required). “W” passes will be available for $2 for all One Book One Community participants.
Book Discussion Leaders Training
- Open to book club facilitators and anyone interested in leading conversations about Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
- Sept. 13, Chapter Two Bookstore, 7:30 p.m.
Sticky time memory book craft project
- Sept. 13, U.P. Children's Museum (link: http://www.upcmkids.org/), 11 a.m.
Storytelling: “About this key” and poetry pillar kick off
- Date to be Announced(Note: will not be held on Sept. 11 as previously announced), West Branch Community Center (link: http://www.westbranch.com/west_branch_community_center.htm), Sawyer
- Look around your house, find a mysterious or just an everyday key. Readers can bring a key and tell their own story—real or made-up. The poetry pillar will feature poems from people of all ages, based on themes, ideas and concepts from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Prizes will be awarded.
Magnetic craft project for Grandma’s fridge
- Sept. 12, U.P. Children’s Museum. 5:30-7:30 p.m.
“Building families” activities
- Sept. 13, U.P. Children’s Museum, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
- Activities include a downtown scavenger hunt, invention station, sound booth recording family stories, grandparent art, “letters to people you admire” station, and more book-themed activities fun for preschool and elementary-age kids and their care givers. Free with admission or membership.
Postage stamp picture frames
- Sept. 17, U.P. Children’s Museum,.11 a.m.
Door hangers for Grandma and Grandpa
- Sept. 19, U.P. Children’s Museum, 11 a.m.
“Healthy Ways to Deal with Grief” Panel Discussion
- Sept. 20, Peter White Library, 7 p.m.
- Panelists are Tom Stanger from Northern Michigan University’s Counseling Center, Deb Smith, a local psychologist, Jill Baker, from Lake Superior Hospice, and Mark Canale from Canale-Tonella Funeral Home.
Stories with keys
- Sept. 26, U.P. Children’s Museum, 11 a.m.
“About my grandparents” paintings
- Sept. 27, U.P. Children’s Museum, 11 a.m.
Tie-in movie: “Slaughterhouse Five”
- Sept. 27, Peter White Library, 7 p.m.
“About My Grandparents” Art Show
- Oct. 2-7, U.P. Children’s Museum
- Open to children up to age 18, using any artistic medium. Artwork can be dropped off at the Children’s Museum until Sept. 26 (include title of piece, artist name, age and address). Artwork will be on display Oct. 2-7, with a public reception on Oct. 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
- Oct. 9, Peter White Library, 7 p.m.
- Learn about this fun activity using global positioning systems (GPS) to locate hidden treasures around the world, and dozens of ones containing keys—and a few with copies of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close—hidden in Marquette County.
Tie-in author: Robert Shetterly
- Oct. 15, Peter White Public Library, 7 p.m.
- The artist and author of Americans Who Tell the Truth, a book featuring 50 portraits and brief biographies of influential people which won the 2006 award of the International Reading Association for intermediate non-fiction, will be speaking to area public school and NMU classes and giving a public presentation on October 15. He has also illustrated National Audubon’s children’s newspaper Audubon Adventures, created editorial page drawings for the Maine Times, and illustrated approximately 30 books.
Lively Book Discussions, Open to All
- Sept. 11, Peter White Public Library Shiras Room, 10 a.m.
- Oct. 4, Coffee Cup, 112 W. Spring St., Marquette, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 11, Dead River Coffee, 143 W. Washington, Marquette, 7.p.m.
- Oct. 9, West Branch Community Center, Sawyer, 7 p.m., following a North Country Vegans dinner (location TBA) at 5:30 p.m.
- Oct. 18, Babycakes Muffin Company, 223 W. Washington, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 19, Peter White public library shiras Room, Noon
- Nov. 7, NMU Starbucks, Learning Resources Center, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 13, West Branch Community Center, in conjunction with Inventor’s Fair, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 14, Chapter Two, 124 N. Third St., 7:30 p.m.