Orbiting Jupiter


Orbiting Jupiter (ebook)

by Gary D. Schmidt

AR Level 4.4, 4 points


Orbiting Jupiter is told from the perspective of Jack, a sixth grade boy in rural Maine, living on a farm during the winter.  However, the story is really about Joseph, an eighth grade boy his parents are fostering.  Joseph came from a boys’ detention home, because he tried to kill his teacher.  He is a new father, and longs to meet his newborn daughter, Jupiter, but he cannot.  He also has an abusive father who comes back into the picture, and he plays an important part in the climax of the story, which was a pretty… climactic climax.  Jack does not know Joseph’s feelings or thoughts, but he is observant and tells us details that help us infer what Joseph is going through, and Schmidt’s style really made this book memorable for me.

What I liked about this book was Schmidt’s style.  I can’t say I’ve ever read one of his books, and the simple narrative style was really unique.  It was almost like dry humor- Jack would say something, and I could picture a kid with a straight face, no emotion.  I enjoy that type of writing.  There was also repetition of words and phrases to emphasize points, which was another feature I enjoyed.

What I didn’t like about this book was the shocking climax.  I’m not sure I didn’t like it, but it came out of left field, and I wanted to throw my phone (since I was reading the ebook on Overdrive).  I can’t tell you what happened, but I will say I wouldn’t have liked the book any less had there been a different ending!

Book 53 of 40 (40 Book Challenge)


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