Sunday, March 27, 2016

Review: Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

Title: Orbiting Jupiter
Author: Gary D. Schmidt
Year Published: 2015

Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 183
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2016 Google Reading map)USA (Maine)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the back of the book):
 When Jack meets his new foster brother, he already knows three things about him: Joseph almost killed a teacher. He was incarcerated at a place called Stone Mountain. He has a daughter. Her name is Jupiter. And he has never seen her.

What Jack doesn't know, at first, is how desperate Joseph is to find his baby girl. Or how urgently he, Jack, will want to help. But the past can't be shaken off. Even as new bonds form, old wounds reopen. The search for Jupiter demands more from Jack than he can imagine.

Review: This slim volume holds so much! There's tenderness, friendship, hate, fear, loveliness, family, strangers, and sadness. Schmidt has created characters that, in only 183 pages, drew me into their lives and hearts, making me want the best for them.

Kids like Joseph are in every school: troubled; misunderstood; angry. But they are also bright and caring and, given the proper attention, can be successful. On the other side, if they are treated as criminals, that's what you get. Joseph is on the edge of these two options for the entirety of this story. The reader can see such potential for him to go either way. And, in the loving home of Jack and his parents, we can see Joseph opening up and starting to see the positive in life.

This book is a quick read and I think it will resonate with students and adults alike.

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