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Cosmic Hardcover – January 19, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: AWARDS: Black-Eyed Susan Book Awards Grades 6-9 2011-2012
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Walden Pond Press; 1 edition (January 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061836834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061836831
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Liam is a big lad. So big that strangers mistake the 12-year-old for an adult. Even his teachers seem to conflate tall with old. So heaven forbid he should ever make a mistake. Then it’s all, “You should know better, big lad like you.” Life sure is hard for poor, burdened Liam (did I mention the Premature Facial Hair?)—until, that is, he decides to enter the Greatest Dad Ever Contest and in short order finds himself on a rocket ship that is off course and 200,000 miles above the earth. Yes, quite a few things—some of them cosmic and all of them extremely funny—do happen in between. Boyce is a Carnegie Medal–winning author, after all (for Millions, 2004), and he knows how to tell a compellingly good story. But in his latest extravagantly imaginative and marvelously good-natured novel he has also written one that is bound to win readers’ hearts, if not a clutch of big prizes—though Cosmic was shortlisted for both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize when it was published in England. There are lots of surprises in Liam’s story, and without spoiling any of them by saying more, just know that this is not only a story about big lads, but also about dads and dadliness! Grades 4-7. --Michael Cart

Review

...A hilarious and heartfelt examination of “dadliness” in all its forms...A can’t-miss offering from an author whose latest novel may be his best yet. (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

[Frank Cottrell Boyce] has created a riveting, affecting, sometimes snortingly funny “what-if” scenario...Liam’s musings on what it takes to be a good, responsible father are dryly comical but also charmingly earnest. A high-levity zero-gravity romp. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

A story of human possibility with a lot of adventure, or an adventure with full credit given to human possibility? Either way, it’s a fantastic, funny, and moving novel....Celebrates not only the spirit of exploration but the human connectedness that allows it to flower. (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))

Readers will appreciate the sharp, realistic, and very funny dialogue. (School Library Journal (starred review))

In his latest extravagantly imaginative and marvelously good-natured novel, [Frank Cottrell Boyce has] written one that is bound to win readers’ hearts...This is not only a story about big lads, but also about dads and dadliness! (Booklist (starred review))

This superb humorous and inventive “cosmic” adventure celebrated space travel, friendships, and dads. (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review))

“Stunningly original…the concept is immediately booktalkable and the telling is riveting; a book of such wealth—of any kind—is valuable indeed.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review of Millions (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))

“Truly a masterpeice.” — School Library Journal, starred review of Framed (School Library Journal (starred review))

With echoes of Roald Dahl . . . the novel ends with an elegant punch line, and a touching endorsement of filial love. (New York Times Book Review)

Cottrell Boyce has a gift for suspending disbelief, for laugh-out-loud comedy. “Cosmic” is Liam’s favorite term of approval. It applies to this book. (London Times)

His third novel, and his best yet. Hugely funny and utterly gripping. (The Guardian)

Hilariously inventive. Frank Cottrell Boyce makes you laugh and think about parents and growing up, about the goodness of gravity and the infinite stars. (Washington Post)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 54 customer reviews
Kids will love it and grown-ups will love to read it with them.
E. R. Bird
The voices of the characters are convincing and the unexpected twists of the plot are just as believable as they are outrageous.
Mars Violet
He hasn't read it yet, but was very excited about getting his new books.
mbouchard_82

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By The Children's Book Reporter on March 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Ever since he was a little kid, Liam wasn't little. By the time he turns twelve, he's way taller than his dad, let alone his classmates. He has to shave. Everyone mistakes him for an adult--and he hates it. Until...he's the only kid allowed to ride the new super ride at the amusement park...and adults treat him with respect...and he (almost) gets away with test-driving a Porsche. And he somehow cons his way into being the "parent chaperone" to the first four kids in space. Which is absolutely cosmic, as he would say--until the kids start acting like typical kids and break the ship. What they need is a dad to come rescue them--but Liam is the only dad they've got.
You come across a few books in your lifetime that really surprise you. You come across a few that make you laugh until you're crying. You come across a few that have such profound depth and meaning that when you finish them they settle into your gut so you'll always remember the way you felt reading them. You hardly ever come across one that embodies all these qualities; Cosmic is such a book. I finished it a week ago and held off writing the review so I didn't just gush meaninglessly (I did that to my family and friends). Now that I've stopped raving, here are my more organized thoughts:
To start with the negative (note the use of the singular), the structure was confusing. Liam begins telling his story to his parents from space, through recording himself on his phone--which makes for a very cool opening. But once we get to the point in the story where he began telling it, there is a disconnect. The time and circumstances have to be reestablished a few times, which can be disorienting.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Fred on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can not speak highly enough of Cosmic. I do a lot of reading and it's been a long time since I've enjoyed a book this much. (I read "grown-up" stuff as well as kids' stuff, because we have kids.) I won't bother with a plot summary here, because several other people already have, plus it's in the Product Description. Suffice to say that the plot was intriguing, fun, and had plenty of surprises. What I WILL say is that the writing itself is some of the best I've ever read; it's clever, funny and engaging, all without feeling even slightly forced. I've read plenty of books where in reading it I can just feel the author saying "Eh, did you catch that? Aren't I clever?" Cosmic was not like that at all. It's narrated by a twelve year-old boy and the writing feels natural and "right."

Kids seven and up should like Cosmic a lot-- probably boys more than girls though. The perfect age range would be ten to thirteen. Younger than that and they might not be able to appreciate the themes (such as what it means to be a parent, both for the child and for the adult), and older than that and they're probably onto edgier, more (what they'd consider) grown-up stuff. Take a look at the first couple of chapters in the "Look Inside" feature here on Amazon (the first few chapters are very short). I think that's the best way to judge whether you or your kids would like it. I think you'll see what I mean about the writing itself. If you're not hooked after reading the sample then the book isn't for you.

I haven't ready any of Boyce's other books but now I will, and I can't wait. (I've seen the movie Millions though and it was very good. I recommend it.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mars Violet on March 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We're half way through this book and have been impressed with each and every amusing and unnerving chapter. The voices of the characters are convincing and the unexpected twists of the plot are just as believable as they are outrageous. I'm not sure how it'll all play out but I'm glad we're along for the ride.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Fred on June 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can not speak highly enough of Cosmic. I do a lot of reading and it's been a long time since I've enjoyed a book this much. (I read "grown-up" stuff as well as kids' stuff, because we have a seven year-old.) I won't bother with a plot summary here, because several other people already have, plus it's in the Product Description. Suffice to say that the plot was intriguing, fun, and had plenty of surprises. What I WILL say is that the writing itself is some of the best I've ever read; it's clever, funny and engaging, all without feeling even slightly forced. I've read plenty of books where in reading it I can just feel the author saying "Eh, did you catch that? Aren't I clever?" Cosmic was not like that at all. It's narrated by a twelve year-old boy and the writing feels natural and "right."

Kids seven and up should like Cosmic a lot-- probably boys more than girls though. The perfect age range would be ten to thirteen. Younger than that and they might not be able to appreciate the themes (such as what it means to be a parent, both for the child and for the adult), and older than that and they're probably onto edgier, more (what they'd consider) grown-up stuff. Take a look at the first couple of chapters in the "Look Inside" feature here on Amazon (the first few chapters are very short). I think that's the best way to judge whether you or your kids would like it. I think you'll see what I mean about the writing itself. If you're not hooked after reading the sample then the book isn't for you.

I haven't ready any of Boyce's other books but now I will, and I can't wait. (I've seen the movie Millions though and it was very good. I recommend it.)
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