Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt (2015)

Joseph stood with his back against the wall. When the cows turned and looked at him, they didn’t do a thing. Not even Dahlia. They kept pulling on the hay and chewing, like they do. The means they thought he was okay (p 5-6).

Orbiting JupiterSchmidt’s latest works a quick magic on its readers with subtle, deft prose and an open-hearted, forthright narrator.

Jackson is a sixth grader at Eastham Middle School when his family agrees to foster Joseph on their farm in Maine. Joseph is an eighth-grader with a troubled past: an abusive father, a stint in juvenile detention after assaulting a teacher, and a daughter, Jupiter, whom he is not allowed to see.

Shunned by his classmates, Joseph’s fecund mind and athletic strength garners him favor with some, but not all, of his teachers. Jack is his lone stalwart friend.

Jackson, haunted by a desire to be with his daughter and traumatized by his rough experiences at juvie, is so tenderly and hauntingly rendered. Though the world seems to be conspiring against his every chance at some sliver of happiness,  Joseph is determined. And Jack, not surprisingly, has his back.

Another gem by Schmidt. Highly recommended.

If you enjoy this, I recommend: The First Part Last by Angela Johnson, Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt, and Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord.

Other reviews:

Kirkus

School Library Journal has also given it a starred review.

Advertisements

One thought on “Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt (2015)

  1. Pingback: Mock Newbery 2016 [Part 1] | wordstocking

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s