Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran FoerRead about another entry on the list.
The main strand of Foer's post-9/11 novel is narrated by nine-year-old Oskar, whose father has been killed in one of the twin towers. He makes fart jokes and explains his fears and obsessions (public transportation, Hiroshima, wearing white clothes). He is also a prodigious polymath. Grief, we surmise, is to be percolated to the reader through his avoidance of the topic.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is among Sara Brady's five books focused on an object that sets the plot in motion.