Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close tells a story about a nine-year-old kid named Oskar looking for a lock that fits a key inside his dad’s envelope. Although he is very young, his ability to think and to draw conclusions is amazing. We could see this through his calculation of how long it would take him to open every lock in New York, or how long it would take him to go through all of people with the name Black in New York. His ability is partly due to the education he has from his father. Oskar’s favorite game with his father is Reconnaissance Expedition. It is a game where his father gives him clues and Oskar has to go around to solve for those clues. The conversations that he has with his father are also very intellectual, unlike a normal conversation between a normal nine-year-old kid and his father.
Oskar is also very curious about things happening around him. That is probably why he has such a great imagination. In his head, Oskar always “invents” new things for the world. We could see this right in the first page, where he talks about a teakettle: “What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me?” Another example about Oskar’s wonderful imagination is when he talks to the limo driver: “Actually, if limousines were extremely long, they wouldn’t need drivers. You could just get in the back seat, walk through the limousine, and then get our of the front seat, which would be where you wanted to go.” Overall, Oskar is an interesting kid, and I would love to see how he figures out the “puzzle” about the key and the word “Black.”