My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: February 28th, 2017
Publisher: Dial Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 9+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Family, Contemporary, Science
11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.
The moment I started SEE YOU IN THE COSMOS, I knew I would be reading something different. Something original.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t read a thousand books that make space for rockets in their plot, let alone mention them. I’m not what you would call a science geek, but I welcome variety.
Alex, however, adores rockets. He’s only eleven years old, yet he already built his own rocket he strongly hopes will make him win the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival or SHARF.
Sadly, he has to go alone, because his mother won’t take him and his older brother is mostly absent.
I wasn’t too keen on the idea of Alex traveling with strangers, especially adult strangers, but he did it anyway. Kids don’t listen to me. I’m not adamant enough in my speeches, I guess.
I was surprised to see him take such reckless decisions, because to me he seemed like an intelligent eleven-year-old boy who understands more than the average eleven-year-old boy would. And I thought it was imbedded in everyone’s minds that strangers should not be trusted so easily. But okay.
Though despite the every-parent’s-nightmare situation, I enjoyed most of this novel. I probably would have enjoyed it more had I cared even a little about rockets, but unfortunately I do not.
There’s a lovely atmosphere in the story. I may not be one for looking at miniature space ships fly in the air, but I am one for animals, so I loved dear Carl Sagan (not the scientist, ha-ha!).
I also thought Alex’s recordings were interesting. Instead of chapters, we have ‘‘recordings.’’ By that I mean Alex is recording himself talking about his love of science and his adventures. He very much likes to record sounds, too – and not the voice type! For instance, he wishes to record the heartbeat of a man in love. How adorable is that? Quite random, but sweet.
Not a perfect book, but Alex is a kid worth meeting with a quest as strange as it is admirable.
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