Oskar is a smart nine year old kid that likes to invent things, asks a lot of questions, and knows a lot of useless facts. He lives with his mom and across the street from his grandmother. Oskar's father died in the World Trade Centre during 9/11, which has made Oskar have "heavy boots" and he goes to therapy to try to talk through his emotions. When Oskar finds a key in a vase in his dad's closet, he sets out on a mission to find out what lock this key opens to. This takes him on an adventure where he meets and learns the stories of many others.
While we learn about Oskar's adventure, we also find out more about his grandfather and his grandmother. Originally coming from Germany, Oskar's grandparents survived an air raid and moved to New York. Oskar's grandfather was originally in love his his grandmother's sister but she died in the air raid, which is when the grandfather finds that he can no longer speak. Their relationship adds a whole other dimension to the book.
Oskar's innocence and intellect gives the reader a refreshing view. It sort of reminds me of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. He's far smarter than any 9 year old I've ever met, but it's still plausible. However, I don't really understand why his mother would let him wander around New York alone, regardless of whether she knew or not. That being said, this story was touching and interesting.
First Line: "What about a teakettle?"