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See You in the Cosmos Hardcover – February 28, 2017
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A Top 10 IndieNext Pick
“I love this book—the characters, the story, but most of all, the voice that writer Jack Cheng has created. See You in the Cosmos is the best I've read in a long, long, long time. It’s a story that changes the way you see the world.” —Holly Goldberg Sloan, author of Counting by 7s
“I haven't read anything that has moved me this much since Wonder . . . The very best books are rare and powerful magic. See You in the Cosmos is one of these. I wanted to stay forever in this funny, wise, beautiful world.” —Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places
"Stellar." —Entertainment Weekly
“Poignant and funny . . . propulsive . . . Alex’s strong voice drives this compelling personal journey with resonant themes of family, friendship, and resilience.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Compelling . . . What makes this novel irresistible is Alex himself, a boy who's at once brilliant, clueless and alive with wonder.” —The Chicago Tribune
“A sweet, soulful debut novel with a brilliant, refreshing structure . . . Taking inspiration from the Voyager Golden Record released to space in 1977, Alex . . . records all the important moments of a journey that takes him from a family of two to a family of plenty. Riveting, inspiring, and sometimes hilarious.” —Kirkus, starred review
“[A] life-embracing, stream-of-consciousness tale of family lost and found.” —The Wall Street Journal
“This novel is a gift—a miracle. Alex fights with all of his magnificent, compassionate heart to remind us that we humans are first, last, and always creatures of hope. Jack Cheng is as brilliant as his debut, and more than that, he is wise. His novel made me want to be a better person.” —Paul Griffin, author When Friendship Followed Me Home
“Beauty . . . hilarity . . . poignancy . . . this unique novel’s journey [is] one totally worth taking.” —The Christian Science Monitor
"[An] absorbing, irresistible road trip story. . . . [Alex's] stubborn optimism is irresistible and inspiring." —Common Sense Media
“Exuberant and utterly believable.” —Booklist
“I was absolutely mesmerized by this book! . . . Mr. Cheng’s incredible storytelling reaffirmed my belief that creativity is still very much alive . . . . A wonderful read for middle grade-aged readers and beyond!” —BookRiot
“It is not always that we read a novel that so powerfully affirms our human capacity for grace and love and understanding; we need this book for the ways in which it gives us more to be human beings with. And it gives us Alex, whose face is turned to the stars.” —Gary D. Schmidt, author of Okay for Now
"Alex Petroski has a big mind, big dreams, and a big heart. His story is full of the real kind of magic—friends well-met, surprising journeys, and heartbreak and hope. This is a beautiful book." —Ally Condie, author of Matched
"Full of innocence and unwavering optimism, leaving the reader incapable of not rooting for Alex. . . . This book skillfully explores the many emotions of an eleven-year-old boy and shows how young and old alike can bond over a love of science." —SLC
"Inspiring." —Time for Kids
"[A] poignant, memorable debut . . . entirely and deeply human." —The Guardian
“[See You in the Cosmos] reminded me a little of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon . . . [Cheng’s is] a very touching book.” —GeekDad.com
About the Author
Jack Cheng was born in Shanghai, raised in Michigan, and lived in Brooklyn for a decade before settling in Detroit. See You in the Cosmos is his first novel for kids.
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Top Customer Reviews
I also read it and found it much deeper than most stories aimed at this age range. It takes the popular, thanks to the Wimpy Kid series, conceit of diary entries, in this case the main character, Alex’s, recorded messages he intends to send into space to communicate with extraterrestrial life, and layers on several extra elements, including a mother suffering from debhabilitating depression, and how that effects her sons, including Alex’s older brother, Ronnie, who has forced into position as the family breadwinner.
When Alex’s dreams come true and he gets to attend a festival focused on space and rockets, he finds that even when he’s living out his wildest fantasies his family issues still follow him.
A poignant middle grade novel that reads more like YA in its content. It did prompt some interesting, and fairly insightful, conversations with my son, who got more out of it than I originally thought.
"See You in the Cosmos, Carl Sagan" is an emotion-packed novel. It will tug at your heart-strings; the warmth and love that emerge through the story are sure to touch your heart. Targeted at readers age ten and older, the language and situations are appropriate for most individuals in that group. Infidelity and mental illness do play some part in the story. Parents/grandparents may want to read the book to determine whether their younger readers are sufficiently mature and will understand the role these topics play in the story. This is a lovely novel and one that adults will enjoy as much as the target group.
Mr. Cheng has a boy's eleven-year-old psyche down to a T. You will immediately feel convinced that this narrative really was written our boy, Alex.
Alex is a young space nerd who has built a rocket to carry his I-Pod into space so he can communicate with whatever beings may exist there.
Alex, against all odds, will be going on quite a trip in this book, not into outer space, but throughout several locations in the southwestern United States.
His intention is to attend a rocket festival in the desert near Albuquerque, New Mexico, but his trip extends far beyond Albuquerque, both geographically and psychologically.
Alex will remain a lovable kid as he takes on very adult experiences during his trip, and as he acquires some unlikely friends and a new-found relative, "his Terra."
Alex has a hero. His hero is Carl Sagan. He also has a dog he rescued from a Safeway parking lot. His dog also goes by the name of Carl Sagan.
Carl Sagan the dog plays a major part in Alex's adventures.
From the first paragraph, you will engage with Alex by way of his recordings into the I-phone he plans to launch into deep space.
Alex is the funniest, bravest, kind-heartedest eleven-year-old boy you could ever hope to meet. He will refer to his unknown readers out there in space as "you guys."
We are his "guys" as well as we accompany our boy on his amazing journey.
With Alex, we will enjoy many experiences, including as many trips as possible to Johnny Rockets burger joints.
Give this gift of a book to your child, read it with your child, read it for yourself. Alex's testimony to the goodness we can find in our fellow humans is a book for all of us earthlings to savor and cherish.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It’s just this simple people…
EVERY HUMAN IN THE UNIVERSE NEEDS TO READ THIS...Read more
Thought provoking moving read for the YA audience.
Really can open the door for conversation after reading this one.Read more