When we were looking at books at the FCBG Conference, we had a brilliant chat with the lovely lady on the Andersen stand. During our discussion, she pointed to a small blue and orange hardback and asked whether we had read it. We hadn't.
'Oh,' she said, 'then you MUST.' So I have- and I am SO glad I did!
Jackson lives on a farm with his parents, who decide to take on a new foster child, Joseph Brook.
Joseph may look like any other teenager- he shines in gym- he's good at maths- but he is set apart by the fact that he became a father at 13. He has a daughter, he has spent time in a juvenile facility and he has an abusive father. Against all the odds, Joseph knows how to love and is desperate to find his baby, Jupiter, and be the best father he can be.
This book is like no other I have ever read. Told through the voice of Jack, the reader comes to understand Joseph and his situation. The novel is short and the writing spare and to the point, but the impact is all the more powerful as a result.
You learn the importance of not jumping to conclusions, about not judging others, about the danger of stereotypes and rumours. You also learn the importance of love, of understanding, of loyalty, of giving others a chance.
This is a book you need to read for yourself- by writing too much, I will ruin it for you. It is a beautiful, moving story; the characters will stay with you long after you have reluctantly closed it at the end.
Orbiting Jupiter Gary D. Schmidt
Anderson Press ISBN: 978-1783443949