Review: Orbiting Jupiter – Gary D. Schmidt

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


A heartbreaking story, narrated by twelve-year-old Jack, whose family is caring for fourteen-year-old Joseph. Joseph is misunderstood. He was incarcerated for trying to kill a teacher. Or so the rumours say. But Jack and his family see something others in town don’t want to.
What’s more, Joseph has a daughter he’s never seen. The two boys go on a journey through the bitter Maine winter to help Joseph find his baby – no matter the cost.


I received a copy from the Andersen Press when it was first released in hardback, and I have to say, I didn’t go anywhere near it for a while. I can’t even tell you why. I just put it to one side and let it become another addition to my ever growing TBR pile. I only picked it up because I needed something short and quick to read, and being less than 200 pages with a moderately large font size, this book ticked that box perfectly.

Well, now I just feel stupid for not picking it up straight away. This book deserves to have a hype around it. I haven’t seen any sort of coverage on it, on blogs, twitter, nor bookstagram, and I want that to change. Rapidly.

Orbiting Jupiter is an incredibly moving, heartfelt and honest piece of writing. It’s written in first person, from the ,perspective of a young boy, Jack, who narrates his foster brother, Joseph’s, journey to find his daughter. They’re only 12/14 respectively. That’s a hell of a lot going on for two boys still in school! I loved this POV, because the naivety of their youth shone through, and gave the topic a completely fresh take in comparison to the usual contemporary trope of broken families and teenage parenting.

Their relationship, although tense and distant at times, was loving and generous, truly brotherly in nature, and just a joy to read. The little details and observations made throughout are simply beautiful when they piece together, and ultimately make this a suitably teary read.

I cried. Five times.

But I didn’t just cry because it was “sad”. I cried because it warmed my heart. I felt the love, and it was beautiful.

This novella addresses the issues of growing up in school, and how judgemental your peers and even teachers can be. But it also shows how it can only take one good influence in your life to encourage you to take your life back for yourself, and make a difference.

I also have new found love and respect for cows… they freaked me out before, but now I love them. (View may change when I next come into contact with one…)

I simply urge you all to go out, buy this book, and read it right now! It’ll only take you a day, and trust me when I say that you’ll wish you’d read it sooner.

View Orbiting Jupiter on Goodreads


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