Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Orbiting Jupiter

Jack's new foster brother is Joseph.  Here's what he knows about Joseph:  he's thirteen years old, he's been in juvie, he tried to kill a teacher, and he has a daughter he's never met.

This information does not dissuade Jack or his parents, and they accept Joseph into their family and their daily routine of farm life in Maine.  Joseph is skittish after his experiences.  He's been abused by his father and has suffered untold punishments in reform school.  He doesn't like to be touched, and he keeps his back to the wall.

The first sign that Joseph is beginning to thaw is the quick relationship he develops with Rosie the cow who instantly loves him and prefers him over anyone else when it comes to milking.

Jack stands by his new foster brother even when things get difficult, and he becomes the first person to have Joseph's back.

Joseph's main goal is to meet his daughter, Jupiter, and though it seems impossible, Jack's family eventually agrees to help in this quest.

Gary Schmidt's new book is smaller and quieter than his previous stories, but it is full of nuance and emotion.  This is a heartbreaking book about a boy who is misjudged and abused at almost every turn and the possibilities of hope.

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