The blurb for See you in the Cosmos, Jack Cheng’s debut for young readers drew me in. “An astonishingly moving middle-grade debut about a space-obsessed boy’s quest for family and home. “ We all need roots and to belong somewhere don’t we!
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 2172 KB
Print Length: 322 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0399186379
Publisher: Penguin; 01 edition (2 Mar. 2017)
All eleven-year old Alex wants is to launch his iPod into space. With a series of audio recordings, he will show other lifeforms out in the cosmos what life on Earth, his Earth, is really like.
But for a boy with a long-dead dad, a troubled mum, and a mostly-not-around brother, Alex struggles with the big questions.
Where do I come from? Who’s out there? And, above all, How can I be brave?
Determined to find the answers, Alex sets out on a remarkable road trip that will turn his whole world upside down . . .
For fans of Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Jack Cheng’s debut is full of joy, optimism, determination, and unbelievable heart. To read the first page is to fall in love with Alex and his view of our big, beautiful, complicated world. To read the last is to know he and his story will stay with you a long, long time.
11yo Alex Petroski lives in Colorado with his mother and dog called Carl Sagan (named after his hero). He’s an unacknowledged young carer, doing all the household chores and managing his life. 24yo older brother Ronnie lives in Los Angeles and sends money for their living expenses. He has been told his dad died when he was 3.
Alex has been working on a rocket which he hopes when launched at a festival will go off into space and so records everyday things on his iPod he thinks extra-terrestrials might want to know about humanity as well as questions he has about their lives too.
The format of the story is those recordings which works really well! It’s a unique way of getting to know Alex and his life as well as the people he meets at the festival and the quest he goes on with Zed and Steve.
Reflecting the resilience and adaptability children are capable of, Alex is a fabulous hero himself. I’m often saying at work how easy it is to forget how a child perceives the world and Alex is the perfect reminder! See you in the Cosmos, Carl Sagan can be comedic at times (Terra telling him it’s her time of the month is a perfect example of how an 11yo understands what this means) and his need of understanding and recording what love is for those in space is a question that sees him grow.
I found See you in the Cosmos a quick read. It has a great pace and the plot/sub-plots are entertaining and at times, tense. I had an emotional connection with Alex from the beginning (and later on with his mum) and the characters add such depth – they feel as if they could walk right off the page.
I have no hesitation in recommending, no matter your age!
Connect with Jack Cheng