Here is the description from amazon.com. I would rather copy this part and then state my own opinion of the book.
Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination.
Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone’s heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who’ve lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father’s grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother’s apartment. They are there to dig up his father’s empty coffin.
I think this was a good book. It has some great themes and use of symbolism. But on a whole it was not my favorite read. I am glad that I did read it but it is one of those books that can be confusing at times. Oskar’s mind is hard to figure out and if you cannot figure out the main character it can make the reading slow going at times. I do think that the author did a great job at looking at the 9/11 tragedy in a whole new way. We have not really seen the emotions from a young child’s view before so in that way this book is unique. The one pet peeve I really had about the book was the extremely long paragraphs! In some sections the paragraphs would go on for pages. I understand that the author probably had a reason to print the book like that but sometimes it can make reading it a bit difficult. I have many interruptions (kids) during reading and, personally, I hate having to find my spot over and over again. I would recommend the book, it is a good read, but seems like those who read it will really love it or just think it’s okay. I am kind of in the middle.
I give this book ***
* Wish I never read this book. ** Okay read. ***This was a good book ****Great book, recommend to all!