- Age Range: 10 - 14 years
- Grade Level: 5 - 9
- Lexile Measure: 1120 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Dial Books (February 28, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399186379
- ISBN-13: 978-0399186370
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 95 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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See You in the Cosmos Hardcover – February 28, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Using only transcripts of podcast recordings to tell a story might be limiting for most narratives, but here it allows 11-year-old Alex Petroski's naïveté and essentially optimistic and ethical nature to come shining through as he tells of his road trip with his dog, Carl Sagan. The decision to travel to SHARF (Southwest High Altitude Rocket Festival), near Albuquerque, NM, is as matter-of-fact as his choice to address his posts to possible extraterrestrials, who he hopes will find his iPod and figure out how things work on Earth. Alex's mother is clearly less than competent, and his distant brother, Ronnie, lives in Los Angeles, which allows Alex to pursue his intense interest in space and rockets unsupervised. Things go awry from the start, but various helpful characters come to his rescue, enabling Alex to continue his journey away from Rockview, CO, and eventually return to the town. He's an intelligent, likable kid, and readers will enjoy following his journey as he learns who is in his corner when the chips are down. It is eventually revealed that his mother has a mental illness, which shines light on the workings of their relationships and explains how Alex has come to be so self-sufficient. VERDICT A smart read with some serious themes. Give to tweens who love unusual realistic fiction.—Carol A. Edwards, formerly at Denver Public Library
Winner of the Golden Kite Award
A Top 10 IndieNext Pick
Winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award
“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
"Stellar." —Entertainment Weekly
"The more [Alex] learns the truth about his family, the more he begins to wonder what a family really is. And if yours isn’t working well, this novel asks, how do you make a better one? . . . Alex’s voice stayed with me. If extraterrestrials ever did find his Golden iPod, they would think Earthlings were wonderful". —The New York Times Book Review
“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
★ “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
“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
"Luminous and heartfelt, 11-year-old Alex Petroski’s story will grab your heart and expand it." —ImaginationSoup
“[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
"[A] poignant, memorable debut . . . entirely and deeply human." —The Guardian
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Don't be fooled -- while this may be classified as a children's book, it is a delight for those who are still young at heart, who are excited to chase their dreams, or who believe in the incredible power of human decency. The protagonist's innocence is a powerful force in the story, maybe even enough to reach beyond the book and affect our own behavior.
Has all the usual elements of a young boy struggling through life and the cast of characters that help him find himself along the way. Written in a compassionate manner that still speaks to young boys.
The accolades you've heard about this book are all true. As soon as you start this book, you feel you know 11-year-old Alex, want to root for him, and admire his spunky, optimistic, determined spirit. It's the story of a boy who has a dream to launch his rocket into space, sending the podcast he's creating to outer space. He wants to let aliens know what life is like on Earth.
It's no surprise that he is able to single-handedly accomplish some amazing things, with no help from parents and only a dog named Carl Sagan by his side. If you think this is a book about a kid who loves science, or a kid and his dog, think again. I was not prepared for the many, many surprises in store--all of which rang true. Implausible? Not here, not for Alex. It all makes sense.
This is so "real" it will seem almost like an autobiography. It redefines family in a way no one has done before. I can't wait to see Jack Cheng's next novel.