Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

'Before you agree to have Joseph come live with you,' Mrs Stroud said,' there are one or two thing you ought to understand.' She took out a State of Maine department of Health and Human Services folder and laid it on the kitchen table. 
Published December 2015 by Anderson Press. 

Summary
A heartbreaking story, narrated by twelve-year-old Jack, whose family is caring for fourteen-year-old Joseph. Joseph is misunderstood. He was incarcerated for trying to kill a teacher. Or so the rumours say. But Jack and his family see something others in town don’t want to.
What's more, Joseph has a daughter he’s never seen. The two boys go on a journey through the bitter Maine winter to help Joseph find his baby - no matter the cost.
****
Reviewed by Vivienne Dacosta

This is one of those books that creeps up on you and steals your heart. When you first hear about Joseph, you're worried for our sweet, gentle narrator, Jack. Joseph has a disturbing reputation. Why would Jack's parents put him in such danger? Jack feels like he is treading on egg shells as he lets Joseph into his life. Joseph isn't big on talking, so Jack can only judge him by the rumours he has heard. 

The longer Joseph stays at Jack's home the more Jack learns to love Joseph. He feels Joseph's pain, especially when it becomes clear what will happen to his daughter. Joseph knows he is too young to have a  child and look after her, but he is desperate to hold her and tell her she is loved. 

The ending simply broke my heart. You need tissues, lots and lots of tissues to get through the final couple of chapters, because your will be in bits after reading what happens and  then again with the fall out from the events months later.

 I would've liked the ending to be a little longer. It did feel slightly rushed. However this did not spoil my enjoyment of this quiet, yet emotional book.

If you loved Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood, you will really enjoy this book.

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