The Essential List: A Letter to the Teacher by Miron C. Izakson
Sixth-grader Avi has an assignment: write a letter to the teacher like the interesting letters of days gone by. Taking the missive as a starting point, the bright and inquisitive youngster delves into his own psyche and tackles philosophical issues such as the search for identity, family relationships, the meaning of time, the role numbers play in the world, and more.
Avi’s letter, in which he attempts to set out on paper his essential list of important issues, becomes a forum for the hidden thoughts and questions of a sensitive and intelligent youth, amazed by the world around him. This is not a typical young adult book, but a daring attempt to understand the personal and internal world of an adolescent, with respect for both the simple and complex issues that occupy him. Izakson’s lyrical and enigmatic prose makes for an unforgettable read.