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See You in the Cosmos

Written by Jack Cheng

Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Recommended Children's eBooks

LoveReading View on See You in the Cosmos

In a nutshell: hopeful, inspiring story of one boy’s brave journey to find the truth |    Space-obsessive Alex Petroski is an unusual eleven-year-old, caring single-handedly for his depressed mother and his puppy Carl Sagan (named after Alex’s hero). Readers are given unique insight into Alex’s life because he records it all on an iPod, which he plans to send into space to give aliens a detailed idea of life on Earth. Though to his disappointment he never gets the opportunity to record the heartbeat of a man in love, the journey Alex undertakes more than makes up for that: we travel with him from Colorado to Las Vegas, via the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival, where he tries and fails to launch his rocket, and along the way he makes new friends, and discovers family he never knew he had. Alex is an unforgettable character, his story is poignant, hopeful and – as his bravery is rewarded – inspiring too.

Recommended for readers who enjoy Alex’s adventure are An Island of Our Own, by Sally Nicholls, another story of children undertaking an important journey without the help of adults; Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford, which takes a scientific starting point to examine family relationships; and Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan in which an unusual young hero assembles a new family around her.   ~ Andrea Reece

March 2017 Debut of the Month


See You in the Cosmos Synopsis

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...

See You in the Cosmos Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Jasmin Sherrett, Year 9 - Great Torrington School - 'I really enjoyed this book. From the first chapter I was hooked on the story and on the charming main character.'
  • Annika Patel-Price, Year 7 - Dormston Secondary School - 'I absolutely loved this book. It is amazing and full of emotion.'
  • Emma Stephenson, age 13 - 'See You in the Cosmos is a wonderful, heart-warming story...this story filled my heart with joy.'
  • Alex Nicholson, age 10 - 'I would recommend this book to people who have big life ambitions as it should inspire them to carry on, even if it takes 1000 tries.  A great read!'
  • Sue Wilsher, Teacher - 'See You in the Cosmos is funny, poignant and inspiring in turns- a book which will leave you thinking long after you have finished it.'
  • Ian Eagleton, adult - 'An inspiring, uplifting tale of one boy's quest to launch his words into space. The book manages to be touching, devastating, funny and heart-breaking in equal measure.'
  • Ethan Owen, age 11 - Little Sutton Primary School - 'This emotional roller-coaster will always make you want to read more and more and really opened my eyes up to what the real world is like for others.'
  • Ross O'Gorman, age 10 - 'I really enjoyed this book. Alex is a likeable, brave character and I would definitely recommend this book to readers who like stories about road trip adventures and family.'
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 11 - 'A space and rocket obsessed 11 year old boy who wants to send his iPad into space to find the answers to his questions. A good read if you want something a bit different.'
  • Alex, age 11 - 'The book is about a boy called Alex who is 11. He is a space engineering enthusiast, he goes on a journey across the US to accomplish his dream of sending a rocket into space.'
  • Lucy Keaveny, age 11 - 'A story that tells the tale of family love and the support people can give you.  A sad yet happy story.'

See You in the Cosmos Press Reviews

Alex is an unforgettably lovely narrator, and is story is out of this world  Robin Stevens, author of Murder Most Unladylike

Falling in love with a new book: the very beautiful See You in the Cosmos... this is something special  Emily Drabble, Booktrust

I haven't read anything that has moved me this much since Wonder  Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places

I love this book - the characters, the story, but most of all, the voice that writer Jack Cheng has created. See You in the Cosmos is the best I've read in a long, long, long time. It's a story that changes the way you see the world. -- Holly Goldberg Sloan, bestselling author of Counting by 7's

Alex Petroski has a big mind, big dreams, and a big heart. His story is full of the real kind of magic-friends well-met, surprising journeys, and heartbreak and hope. This is a beautiful book. -- Ally Condie, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Matched

It is not always that we read a novel that so powerfully affirms our human capacity for grace and love and understanding; we need this book for the ways in which it gives us more to be human beings with. And it gives us Alex, whose face is turned to the stars. -- Gary D. Schmidt, author of National Book Award finalist Okay for Now

This novel is a gift - a miracle. Alex fights with all of his magnificent, compassionate heart to remind us that we humans are first, last, and always creatures of hope. Jack Cheng is as brilliant as his debut, and more than that, he is wise. His novel made me want to be a better person. -- Paul Griffin, author of When Friendship Followed Me Home

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780141365602
Publication date: 02/03/2017
Publisher: Puffin an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780141365602
Publication date: 2nd March 2017
Author: Jack Cheng
Publisher: Puffin an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories
Recommendations: eBooks, Reviewed by Children

About Jack Cheng

Jack Cheng was born in Shanghai and grew up in Michigan. After spending nearly a decade in New York, working in advertising and tech, he now lives in Detroit. See you in the Cosmos is his first novel for young readers.

More About Jack Cheng

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