Read between: 10th-13th November 2019
Published: February 28th 2017
Publisher: Dial Books
Synopsis: A space-obsessed boy and his dog, Carl Sagan, take a journey toward family, love, hope, and awe in this funny and moving novel for fans of Counting by 7s, Walk Two Moons, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
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.
Jack Cheng’s debut is full of joy, optimism, determination, and unbelievable heart. To read the first page is to fall in love with Alex and his view of our big, beautiful, complicated world. To read the last is to know he and his story will stay with you a long, long time.
Review: I adored this book. It’s aimed at children, but it’s written as if Alex is recording the events through his iPod and his voice was lovely and mature for an 11 year old boy. There were times where his innocence came through and that made the story even more endearing.
From the very first page I knew this wasn’t the typical space book, it reminded me a little bit of Young Sheldon, but only because it’s a about a young boy who loves science. The similarities end there- also, there’s a dog. Any book that has a dog is a winner in my eyes.
It’s not just about his love of space, it’s also about his family. There’s a twist later on (after Alex discovers something about his dad through an ancestry website) which I was really worried would turn out for the worst but it didn’t and really added to Alex’s journey as we follow his narration through different moments in this period of his life.
I also loved the pop culture references throughout the book, it definitely gave it a real-world feel.
It’s a book to read and be enjoyed. It can be enjoyed by people of every age because rockets and space travel never age.
It’s a truly beautiful story.
Thanks for reading!