This is another book that was quite an unexpected read for me as it was presented to me by my nieces who assured me that it’s a fantastic one. Well they were right! See you in the Cosmos is a delightful middle grade read which I finished in about two days.
Title: See you in the Cosmos
Genre: YA / middle grade
Author: Jack Cheng
11 years old Alex Petroski sets out on an unexpected road trip that sees him launch a model rocket, make new friends, lose his best friend/pet Carl Sagan and find a half-sister. Oh he also lands up in ER to be stitched up as he falls off a ladder.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you a lot more about Alex who lives with his mum who is always having “one of her days” and has an older brother Ronnie who is always just not there.
Alex is obsessed with the cosmos and is convinced about life entities on other planets. So much so, that he records sounds, descriptions of events, people, etc into an I-pod which he plans to launch in a rocket and hopes it will be found by someone out there in the universe.
You see he wants them to know about earth and his life down there.
So he makes it to a model rocket launch Site in the middle of a desert where of course his rocket fails. Yes people he built a model rocket and is an active member of an online rocket forum.
Heartbroken, he decided to set out on another quest- to find his father about whom he has just received some info from a website called ancestry.com
So he journeys from Albuquerque to Las Vegas to Los Angeles to Colorado with a Zen master who has taken a vow of silence, a science nerd his pet dog and half-sister. He seems to be collecting the odd people courtesy of his unique charisma.
What follows is a tale of innocence where the belief system of an 11-year-old gets the adults to believe in the truth and see things his way.
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Lasting Impression on me:
This book is for an age group of 10-14 years old and is just brilliant. Told from the perspective of an 11 year old, the maturity he has achieved due to his circumstances is heart wrenching. At the same time he hasn’t lost his innocence and believes in the truth- no matter what it is.
I think after reading about 10-year-old August Pullman in Wonder, I was sure I wont get another heartbreak like him soon enough. How wrong was I ?
Alex takes over from August brilliantly and continues to break my heart with his innocence laced maturity that sees him convince adults to do his bidding. I loved his convictions about life in outer space and how he could help them understand life on earth.
Then there is the relationship he built with his half-sister who was a huge surprise for him. Not to mention he was to her.
The tale is woven well with the human relationship aspect but is a bit of a let down on the rocket bit. Though to be fair to the author, this is from the perspective of a 12-year-old.
I would rate is a 3 star owing to the fact that it dragged a bit in places and could have been edited a little better. But other than that, a hearty recommendation to the young readers to pick up this book.
If you have liked my reviewing style, do check out this one about The Fifth Doll by Charlie N Holmberg about hand painted Russian dolls with magical powers.
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