Book Review by Aarene Storms: Orbiting Jupiter

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

Jack is twelve years old when his foster brother comes to live with the family on their little farm in Maine. Joseph Brook is fourteen years old, recently released from a facility called Stone Mountain. And he has a daughter named Jupiter, whom he loves deeply although he has never seen her.

The story is slowly revealed, in tiny, agonizing bits. Jack narrates with clear eyes and a farm boy's practicality: that you can tell all you need to know about someone from the way cows are around him. That leaving a guy to get beat up while you go find a teacher is not okay. And that being family means you've got somebody's back.

Just when things are looking brighter for Joseph, the end of the book comes crashing down.

What this book is: sweet. compelling. impossible to ignore.

What this book is not: easy.

Highly recommended for readers ages 14 to adult.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true.  --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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