See You in the Cosmos

Jack Cheng

See You in the Cosmos
Penguin Random House Children's UK
United Kingdom
27 February 2017

See You in the Cosmos

Jack Cheng

An astonishingly moving middle-grade debut about a space-obsessed boy’s quest for family and home.

All eleven-year old Alex wants is to launch his iPod into space. With a series of audio recordings, he will show other lifeforms out in the cosmos what life on Earth, his Earth, is really like. But for a boy with a long-dead dad, a troubled mum, and a mostly-not-around brother, Alex struggles with the big questions. Where do I come from? Who’s out there? And, above all, How can I be brave? Determined to find the answers, Alex sets out on a remarkable road trip that will turn his whole world upside down …

For fans of Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, 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.


I adored this book. It’s always so great to read about a thoughtful, curious and kind-hearted young person and Alex is an absolutely delightful character.

Inspired by his hero Carl Sagan, the Voyager Golden Records, and dedicated to truth, Alex is obsessively making recordings that chronicle his life and his thoughts on a spray-painted gold iPod. They are intended for alien life forms and are to be launched into space with the rocket he is building. The book’s narration follows these recordings and we join the independent Alex (and his dog Carl Sagan) as a few days at rocket camp turns into a life-changing journey. Rocket camp becomes an epic road trip and during Alex’s travels he forms many meaningful, unlikely friendships and discovers some very important truths about his own life and family situation.

There are some big themes here, all dealt with compassionately and always comprehensibly; respect is shown to both the subject and the intended youthful audience. Kindness, optimism and honesty triumph and this funny, clever, extraordinarily warm book is a perfect next-read choice for those who loved R.J Palacio’s Wonder.

Kim Gruschow

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