See You in the Cosmos

See You in the Cosmos

Book - 2017
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Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski, along with his dog, Carl Sagan, makes big discoveries about his family on a road trip and he records it all on a golden iPod he intends to launch into space.
Publisher: New York, NY : Dial Books for Young Readers, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780399186370
Characteristics: 314 pages ;,22 cm


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Oct 13, 2018

The book was originally titled "See You In The Cosmos, Carl Sagan", but Ann Druyan, (Sagan's widow), pressured Chang's publisher to remove Carl's name. While hucksters pawn unlicensed Sagan swag on Zazzle, Ebay, Etsy,etc., Ann seems to want to exert control over these kinds of love letters to Carl. It's like John Boswell's "Symphony of Science" situation.

Anyway, the story is about a bright 11 year old who is inspired by Carl Sagan. His home life is a mess, with (we later learn) a mentally ill mother unable to care for him properly. Through the internet, Alex encounters other science and space exploration enthusiasts, who, upon learning he's just a child, feel obliged to help him and his dog, who is named after Carl Sagan (and there are many animals and people named after him in the real world).

The story fires on all thrusters but for one section where Carl Sagan (the dog) is lost. The adults and Alex really don't seem to put in the kind of effort they should have put into finding Carl Sagan. This is especially surprising in the case of the vegetarian character.

I prefer not to say much else for revealing too much of the story. It's will get you in the feels, whether you're 11 or a crusty old curmudgeon like me. You'll even learn a bit about what made Carl Sagan such legendary big thinker (although you might need to read "Carl Sagan - A Life in the Cosmos" by William Poundstone to start).

Along the way, with any luck, you'll be inspired to watch the original 1980 COSMOS by Carl Sagan (sans commercials of course). It's truly horrific that many libraries lack a DVD copy of COSMOS (the 2014 reboot isn't that bad, but it lacks Carl Sagan). Luckily, if you search carefully, you can find the original nearly-hour long episodes on Vimeo or youtube.

I have little doubt that this book will be cherished by the Sagan grandchildren.

Jul 11, 2018

a great book with a deep meaning and lots of great characters and twists

ArapahoeKati Jun 08, 2018

Love podcasts, astronomy and brave kids? 11-year-old Alex records his quest--and side trips--as he tries to launch his golden iPod into space. A delight to listen to with a full cast of characters!

JCLChrisK Feb 13, 2018

Quirky narrator Alex is intelligent, knowledgeable, obsessive, enthusiastic, and self-sufficient. He's also naive, socially awkward, unguarded, and unworldly. Thankfully, he's incredibly endearing--to both other characters in the book and to readers.

Alex's main obsession is astronomy, and his goal is to launch an updated version of the Golden Record NASA sent into space in the 70s to introduce extraterrestrial life to planet earth and humanity. This book is composed of his recordings on his Golden iPod. He chronicles his journey to a gathering of rocket hobbyists for an attempted ascent. Many strangers help him along the way, including two who agree to take him from the festival to Las Vegas on a quest to search for his missing father. His travel takes many unexpected turns to many unexpected destinations, constantly aided by those he meets along the way. By the end of his odyssey, Alex has learned more than he ever expected about himself, his family, and his ever-growing group of friends.

Alex's optimistic spirit is infectious and makes him a wonderful storyteller of this unusual and enjoyable tale.

JCLKariE Feb 06, 2018

Eleven-year-old Alex is recording sounds from life on Earth onto his golden iPod which he’s launching into space aboard his rocket, the Voyager 3, at the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival in New Mexico. These recordings make up the story which adds an interesting storytelling technique to the story.
Alex makes food for his mom, packs his things, prints his Amtrack tickets and sets off for SHARF. Alex's mom has a lot of quiet days and takes long walks so she won't mind that he's gone for a few days. The train ride is the start of a great trip with his dog, Carl Sagen, named after his personal hero and creator of the golden records. During his trip he makes new friends and learns about his family.
Alex is hilarious, obsessed with space, and loves astronomy jokes. The explanations of common sayings and human emotions make this novel outstanding. I loved this story. Fans of Wonder will enjoy See You in the Cosmos.

Nov 16, 2017

A touching look at the chaotic journey of Alex. The biggest thing I loved about this book is that Alex's "voice" always felt genuine. He really always felt like an 11 year old navigating the challenging life and situations around him in a realistic way. There's a lot to love about this book. The characters feel real, and the story was both heart warming and crushing at times. While this book is technically for junior or middle grade readers, it's a book everyone should read.

Nov 06, 2017

Didn't really understand all the praise I saw for this book. The writing style was irritating, like having a child who can't stop talking a mile a minute in your ear the whole time. Read about 3/4 of this with my son before we both lost interest. Also, because of the way this book is structured, as recordings that the kid made, it's incredibly awkward to read out loud.

Sep 16, 2017

This was kind of a crazy story about an eccentric kid following his dream, and then getting caught up in family drama. I enjoyed his road trip and the new friends he made.

Aug 16, 2017

This MG debut by Jack Cheng was unlike anything I’ve ever read! The protagonist, Alex is a really smart but naive kid who wants to send his iPod into space so that aliens can see, or rather hear what life on earth is like. Alex was like this precious cinnamon roll who I just wanted to protect *inserts crying emoji*. An interesting aspect of this novel, the author has turned the recordings into transcripts, so it’s like the reader is the one who received them. Dialogue would either be Alex repeating or summarizing what someone said, or someone(s) talking as Alex is recording (like a script). If Alex didn’t record something, we didn’t hear about it. Whether or not you’re a big MG reader, this is definitely not a book you want to miss out on! This book will make you happy and sad, laugh, and cry. And cry some more.

Aug 11, 2017

This unique novel is told as transcripts of the many voice recordings Alex is recording for the aliens who will eventually (he hopes) find his golden iPod in space. Alex is eleven and an active member of the online rocket-builder community. He manages to get himself to a launch event and is taken under the wing of a various cast of young adults, none of whom are really prepared to take care of him but in their own way, they all eventually help him to find out what is really going on in his family life. The story has a lot of literal twists and turns, as Alex goes from Colorado, to New Mexico, to Nevada to California then back to Colorado but it has emotional twists and turns as well. Alex has a complicated family and it is through his voice recordings that readers will uncover the truth as he begins to figure things out.

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Feb 12, 2018

gjrainey thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Apr 30, 2017

white_spider_36 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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