Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

Orbiting JupiterWhen Joseph, 14, comes to live with Jack’s family as a foster child after spending time in a juvenile corrections facility, all he can think about is finding his daughter Jupiter. But Jupiter’s grandparents want nothing to do with Joseph, and Jupiter has been given up for adoption.  Jack isn’t sure how to respond to Joseph, so he follows his parents’ lead.  However, when Joseph’s biological father bursts onto the scene and looks to leverage the situation in his financial favor, Joseph, Jack, and his parents become even more sure about what they must do.

Gary D. Schmidt is a wonderful storyteller.  Having read Okay for Now, Trouble, and What Came from the Stars, Orbiting Jupiter was an easy book to buy.  And once I started reading, I put everything else off.  My students knew how good the book was because I decided to read with them during reader’s workshop.  I appreciate their understanding. 🙂

Schmidt tackles many issues in this new young adult novel – family, foster children, juvenile detention, young love, and young parenthood.  All are approached in a respectful, honest way.

Yes, it might be hard for a 14-year-old eighth grader to understand Joseph’s predicament, but I would rather have that 14-year-old and all of his peers read about it before they find themselves in a position to experience it.  That’s the power of reading.


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Filed under realistic fiction; young adult fiction, young adult fiction, young adult literature

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