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See You in the Cosmos
Cover of See You in the Cosmos
See You in the Cosmos
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 and Walk Two Moons. 11-year-old Alex Petroski...
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 and Walk Two Moons. 11-year-old Alex Petroski...
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Description-

  • 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 and Walk Two Moons.

    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.

    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.

    Read by Kivlighan de Montebello and a full cast,
    including Brittany Pressley (as Terra), Graham Halstead (as Steve), Michael Crouch (as Ronnie), and Jason Culp (as Zed). Additional narration provided by Therese Plummer, Susan Bennett, Dan Bittner, Pete Larkin, and Courtney Shaw.
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    New Recording 1

    6m 19s

    Who are you?

    What do you look like?

    Do you have one head or two?

    More?

    Do you have light brown skin like I do or smooth gray skin like a dolphin or spiky green skin like a cactus?

    Do you live in a house?

    I live in a house. My name is Alex Petroski and my house is in Rockview, Colorado, United States of America, planet Earth. I am eleven years and eight months old and the United States is two hundred forty-two years old and Earth is 4.5 billion years old. I'm not sure how old my house is.

    Maybe you live on an ice planet, so instead of houses you have igloos and your hands are icepicks and your feet are snowshoes and you're covered in gold-brown fur like Carl Sagan. That's my dog. I named him after my hero, Dr. Carl Sagan, who was one of the greatest astronomers of our time. Dr. Sagan helped send Voyagers 1 and 2 into deep space and put a Golden Record on them with all kinds of sounds from our planet, like whales singing and people saying hello in fifty-five languages, and the laugh of a newborn baby and the brainwaves of a woman in love and mankind's greatest music like Bach and Beethoven and Chuck Berry. Maybe you've heard it?

    I found my pup Carl Sagan in the parking lot at Safeway, and when I saw him he was dirty and hungry and hiding behind a dumpster. I said, Come here boy, don't be scared, but he was crying and curling his tail because we were still strangers at that point. I told him I'm not going to hurt him, I'm a pacifist, and I guess he believed me because when I picked him up he didn't even fight me or try to run. Then I took him back to my house and my mom was lying on the sofa watching her shows like she usually does, and I told her I got the groceries but I got a pup also and I'll take good care of him I promise, I'll play with him and feed him and give him a bath and all the stuff you're supposed to say.

    And she said, You're in the way! So I got out of the way. My best friend Benji's mom would freak if he brought home a pup, but my mom, she doesn't care as long as I make us dinner and don't bother her when she's watching her shows. She's a pretty cool mom.

    I don't know what kind of shows you guys have but the ones my mom likes are game shows and judge shows and shows with five ladies sitting in a fake living room. When I'm at Benji's house we watch Cartoon Network because his family has On Demand, and Benji loves Battlemorph Academy and so do a lot of the kids at school. I think that show's OK but I prefer the more classic cartoons likeDexter's Laboratory to be honest. That Dexter is one smart kid. I hate it when his sister Didi goes in and messes up everything. I'm glad I don't have a sister to mess up my stuff, especially when I'm working on my rocket.

    I do have an older brother though. His name is Ronnie but everyone calls him RJ except my mom and me and some of his old high school friends because his middle name is James. Ronnie's a lot older, he's more than twice how old I am. He's twenty-four. He lives in Los Angeles and his job is an agent, and I know what you're thinking but he's not that kind of agent. He's not a spy or Bond, James Bond kind of agent. He doesn't fight terrorists or bust drug dealers or play poker with super-villains. He helps basketball and football players get shoe commercials. But he does go to fancy parties and wear sunglasses, so I guess it's kind of the same.

    Ronnie wouldn't let me keep Carl Sagan at first. He never likes it when my mom and me spend his money on stuff that isn't groceries or bills for our house. When I told him about Carl Sagan over the phone he said, Uh-uh, we can't...

About the Author-

  • Jack Cheng was born in Shanghai, raised in Michigan, and lived in Brooklyn for a decade before settling in Detroit. See You in the Cosmos is his first novel for kids.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 5, 2016
    Alex Petroski, the idiosyncratic 11-year-old narrator of Cheng’s poignant and funny first novel, dutifully records his thoughts and adventures into an iPod, “so when intelligent beings millions of light-years away find it one day they’ll know what Earth was like.” The result is a propulsive stream-of-conscious dive into Alex’s life as he sets off alone from Colorado with his dog, Carl Sagan (named after Alex’s personal hero), to launch the iPod into space at the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival in New Mexico. There, he encounters an eclectic cast of rocket enthusiasts and persuades two new adult friends, one of whom has taken a vow of silence, to take him to Las Vegas to track down his supposedly dead father. The trip continues as Alex meets his half-sister, resolves the mystery about his father, and travels on to Los Angeles to find his older brother. Details about his mother and her “quiet days,” mentioned throughout, take on increasing importance, especially once Alex returns home. Alex’s strong voice drives this compelling personal journey with resonant themes of family, friendship, and resilience. Ages 10–up.

  • AudioFile Magazine Kivlighan de Montebello's engaging young voice embodies 11-year-old Alex Petroski. Alex is obsessed with space travel and recording Earth sounds on his iPod, modeling his hero, astronomer Carl Sagan's golden records on the Voyager spacecraft. Alex's recordings become the account of his rather bizarre solo trip from Rockview, Colorado, to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to launch his rocket at SHARF (Southwest High Altitude Rocket Festival). From this point, Alex's story spirals into an oddly endearing travel tale of friendship and family. The episodic action--which includes narrators Brittany Pressley, Graham Halstead, Michael Crouch, Jason Culp, and others as supporting characters--makes it easy to suspend disbelief and renders this an altogether captivating listening experience. S.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 31, 2017
    Alex, an 11 year-old boy who loves astronomy, makes a series of recordings to send into outer space in an effort to communicate with aliens. He plans to launch them using a rocket at the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival in New Mexico. Leaving his mother, who is neglectful and bedridden due to depression, behind in Colorado, he heads to the festival with his dog, Carl Sagan. His trip results in new friends, clues about his long-dead father, and a reunion with his half-sister. The book is told solely through Alex’s recordings, which makes it an ideal fit for audio. De Montebello is an excellent child actor who sounds completely natural as the innocent, earnest, curious protagonist; the other cast members—Michael Crouch, Jason Culp, Graham Halstead, and Brittany Pressley—are not quite as memorable. The audiobook effectively creates the illusion of spontaneous recordings with sound effects and background noise added in. This creative and unusual audiobook adds an extra dimension to the written work and brings the story to life in a way that perfectly matches the subject. Ages 10–up. A Dial hardcover.

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