A Librarian Reads…

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt

The day Jack’s parents take Joseph into their home, the social worker tells them three things they need to know. One is that Joseph tried to kill a teacher because he swallowed something bad and didn’t know what he was doing. Two is that after being sent to Stone Mountain and what happened to him there, Joseph won’t wear orange, let anyone touch him or stand behind him, or eat canned peaches. And three is that Joseph has a daughter. Jack and Joseph have many classes together, even though Jack is in sixth grade and Joseph is in eighth, and they spend a lot of time together milking the family’s cows, and eventually Joseph learns to trust Jack and his parents. They discover he is a boy who loves deeply, and decide to do whatever they can to help him find his daughter Jupiter.

Gentle, but unflinching in the face of harsh realities, this book is highly recommended for readers in middle school and up.


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