Thursday, 7 January 2016

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt

This brief novel packs quite a punch, with its few well-drawn characters and a storyline to break your heart.

Jack (12) tells the story of Joseph (14) who comes to live on the farm with Jack and his parents.  Joseph has had a harsh life, mother died, brutal father, and a father himself at the age of 13. After trying to kill a teacher he was sent to Stone Mountain where he experienced still more violence.
Jack can count the number of times Joseph smiles but the gentle momentum of life on the farm slowly wins Joseph over and eventually he shares his story.
His primary focus is the baby he's never been allowed to see - Jupiter, and his grief for her mother. His one aim in life is to find Jupiter.
I loved Jack's narration, his simple understanding and acceptance of Joseph, and bravery in standing by him. "I have his back."

Orbiting Jupiter
By Gary D Schmidt
Clarion Books, 2015
ISBN 9780544462229

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