Orbiting Jupiter

If I’d known it was a little bit Christmas related, I’d have read Orbiting Jupiter a week earlier. I reckon I wouldn’t have minded crying at Christmas. Much. It was mostly good crying. Some bad. It takes a very special kind of writer – and Gary D Schmidt is one – to dare do what he did.

This commendably short and moving book is about two boys. 12-year-old Jack, who lives on a farm (in Maine, is my guess) with his parents, and Joseph, who is a couple of years older and comes to them to be fostered. He is a troubled boy, and on top of everything else, he is a recent father.

Joseph isn’t allowed to see baby Jupiter, but it’s all he wants. He loves that baby. He’s also rather challenging, and school isn’t easy. Even Jack encounters new problems, simply by association.

There are some really dreadful children, and teachers, in that school. But there are also some very decent people, and Jack’s parents belong to the latter category. There is finally some hope for Joseph, when…

You will need that hanky out now, but you definitely want to read this book. It has some lovely cows, and it is yet more proof that librarians are worth having.

Gary D Schmidt, Orbiting Jupiter


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