Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Teen Tuesday: Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

Because I loved The Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now, I will read anything Gary D. Schmidt writes. His newest book, Orbiting Jupiter was published in 2015, and is one I bought new because he is such a good author.

Orbiting Jupiter tells the story of Joseph, from his foster brother's point of view. This story would be very different if it had been told from Joseph's point of view. 

Jack is the narrator and is in sixth grade. Joseph is in eighth grade. Before he comes to live with Jack, the social worker tells their family that Joseph almost killed a teacher, he was incarcerated at a place called Stone Mountain, and he has a baby daughter who he has never seen. 

Joseph is suffering from a horrible case of PTSD, but Jack's parents are wonderful foster parents, and Jack always has Joseph's back. 

Joseph's greatest wish is to find his daughter, Jupiter. Will they help him or will Joseph's own father ruin their plans. 

The vice principal in the story is portrayed as a jerk, which is often the case in YA books, but as an educator, the majority of VPs I've worked with have been amazing educators who want to help students any way they can. 

I did not like the ending, yet I still recommend this book. Gary D. Schmidt knows how to write and tell a story. He may not always give you the what you wanted, but he will make you think. This book shows why it is important not to pre-judge people. If we expect the worst in someone, we will see the worst even if they are trying to make good choices.

This story will make you happy that your kids are safe. Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

NICU Book Project

If you'd like to contribute to our book drive for NICU babies, here is how you can help.

1. You can order books for your own children from an online Usborne book party and the proceeds will go to purchase books for the NICU. I've received over $350.00 in free books for the NICU from people buying books for their own families through my web link. Usborne is really good to their hostesses, and they have great board books for babies. Click on the link: Usborne book sale to benefit NICU The books you order will be shipped directly to your home. You can then give them to your children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews. The free books from the hostess benefits go to the NICU.

2. We have set up a baby registry at Amazon.com with many books listed for the NICU babies. Some of these books only cost 2.50. Many of these are classics that all children should have. Click on this link if you'd like to help provide books for the NICU: Catherine Crosby Building Lifelong Readers Book Registry. If you order books for us, they will be shipped directly to me, and I will package and send them to the NICU. English and Spanish books are both needed as some of our babies' first language is Spanish. It is important for these little ones to be proficient in their first language.

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