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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  3,201 ratings  ·  590 reviews
Liam is too big for his boots. And his football strip. And his school blazer. But being super-sized height-wise has its advantages: he's the only eleven-year-old to ever ride the G-force defying Cosmic rollercoaster - or be offered the chance to drive a Porsche. Long-legged Liam makes a giant leap for boy-kind by competing with a group of adults for the chance to go into s ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 30th 2008 by MacMillan UK (first published May 15th 2008)
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Best of UKMG Fiction
7th out of 112 books — 33 voters
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7th out of 45 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

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Close your eyes. Lean back. Take a breath. Now think. Think about the books you read when you were a child. Think about the ones you loved. The ones you still think about sometimes. The ones that encouraged you to consider the world around you.

Got them in your head? Great. Now just pluck out for me the ones that took place in outer space. Go on. I can wait.

What’s that? You can’t think of any significant children’s books that took place in space? Would The Little Prince count? I guess so, but th
Monica Edinger
Jun 23, 2008 Monica Edinger rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Monica by: Kelly
Here's my blog post:

A few years ago I fell hard for Millions, Frank Cotrell Boyce’s first book for children. The outlandish situation (two boys feverishly spending large amounts of money), the characterizations (particularly of the two boys and their father), the subtle handling of the big emotional and theological themes (of grief and faith), the laugh-out-loud humorous moments (my favorite being the playground economy), and the remarkable voice of narrator Damian (the younger of the two boys)
Amy Yeap
This is a middle-grade book, about a boy who is a lot taller than he supposed to be since he's only 12 years old! Then he went on a space ride! That's all I can say about this book. This book is funny, I laughed out loud a few times. It's funny when people mistaken him as an adult, and he did some pretty crazy but cool stuff because of this. And of course, he did get himself into trouble because of this. I think Liam's character developed a lot, especially the second half of the book. He've grow ...more
Lisa the Librarian
Feb 23, 2012 Lisa the Librarian rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 3-6th graders - especially boys
Recommended to Lisa by: Molli Craghead
I think the author was counting on the fact that nerds from different factions don't mix. Meaning that reader nerds don't play online games and gamer nerds don't read kids' novels.

Well as an elementary school librarian children's literature is my business (and fortunately for me also my passion). My husband is a big gamer and I play with him. So I guess I qualify as that rare (possibly statistically non-existent) double nerd who both reads children's books and plays an online game.

The main char
I read this book aloud to my nine year old daughter and Cosmic was in parts 'totally cosmic'.

This was a strange book, the main character is a 12 yo boy who is very tall, has some facial hair and often gets confused as an adult. The characters are from a small town called Bootle in England, which is somewhere near Liverpool I believe. So I needed to watch a bit of Red Dwarf to practice my Liverpudlian accent before we started. The young lad enters a competition with Drax World, a mobile phone co
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I've had this ARC sitting on my shelf for a few months now, and if I'd known how much fun it would be and how much I'd like it, I would have read it as soon as I got it. But it's a new author for me, and the blurb didn't make it sound all that interesting. Since this North American edition is due out early next year, I thought I should probably get reading. And it turned out to be just what I needed: a funny, laugh-out-loud, wistful and rollicking ride that reminded me at times of Roald Dahl (mo ...more
This story is truly cosmic. Cottrell really has a great sense of humor and writes in a way that made me laugh out loud. The main character Liam is easy to relate to, even if you're not a 12 year old bearded boy. Even though it is not likely that a middle school boy can pose as an adult and get launched into space on a crazy mission, I was so absorbed in the story that I believed it could happen!
Jun 12, 2012 Heidi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Grades 5th-7th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's a coincidence I began this on the night of the lunar eclipse, or maybe I just have space on the brain? Actually, not really. It's up to me to note books that get stars from major trade publications, and this book has a whopping SIX.

Cottrell Bryce owes a lot to Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and I say this in the best way possible. One, they're both British. Two, they live for caricature and the funny. Three, their books are just whimsical enough, and serious enough, to hit
Liam doesn't quite fit in. He is twelve-years-old, but he looks... well... like a dad. A lot of the time, this works to his advantage. On the first day of middle school, his principal thought he was a teacher and introduced him in the school assembly. Once he went to a car dealership, and the salesman almost let him take a Porche out for a test drive.

When Liam finds out he has won a contest to be the first on a brand new thrill ride at an amusement park, he's ecstatic! So what if he has t
Lamont Whiteside
Good reads book Review- cosmic
In my high school American literature class we were asked to do a book review at the end of the marking period on Good reads. So this quarter I was having a little trouble getting a good book to read, but my brother was reading a book called Cosmic. At first I did not think that this would be a good book for me because it was about science and I’m not that good in science. But after reading this book it showed me a lot about myself, it also showed me how much we ca
THIS WAS FABULOUS! It got off to a slow start, then turned into something reminiscent of Roald Dahl (there's even a bit where two characters are in the BFG play, Danny the Champion of the World-esque, then it turns into something even more reminiscent of Roald Dahl a la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and then it becomes its own creation with thoroughly understated but EXCELLENT theology. If you want to find the theology, it's there, but it's well-hidden, reminding me of Narnia. There are so ...more
Liam Digby, a 12-year-old who looks older and is often mistaken for an adult, wins a contest to go into outer space with his "daughter" and school friend Florida. The flight is sponsored by Drax Communications, which sounds like a big company that produces Smartphone apps and games and wants to branch out into theme parks. The winners of the contest, 4 dads and their kids, are taken to China where Drax Communications and Dr. Dinah Drax, the mastermind, are building a huge theme park in the middl ...more
So have you ever felt like a book was trying too hard? That's how I felt about this book, like it was just trying waaay too hard. It was too over the top, required me to suspend belief too much and too often and it tried too hard to be funny. I felt like if some of it had been toned down, I might have lived with it but there were just too many too's.

Liam is a 12 year old boy that already looks like an adult, in fact he looks old enough to be mistaken for a father. He and his friend Florida, fre
Marjorie Ingall
Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome. Cosmic, in fact. Funny, odd, sweet, vivid...and the ending is perfect perfection. (Obligatory plot summary: Very tall World-of-Warcraft- and amusement-park-ride-loving 12-year-old pretends to be a Dad so he can scam his way onto a slick corporate-sponsored space ride. Chaos ensues.) Josie and Maxie loved this book so much all I had to do to get them to bed was yell WHO WANTS C ...more
Sherie Tamura
This book was great. The premise sounds ridiculous...when it starts, the author is writing a letter to his folks, explaining he will probably never see them again as he is lost in a rocket ship in space. However, the rest of the book is the back story of how a 12 year old, who looks like a 30 year old, managed to fool everyone into thinking he was a dad, winning a contest for the ultimate ride, and ending up in charge of a bunch of geniuses in a rocket ship. Highly entertaining especially since ...more
This is a deeply tedious book which I forced myself to finish only because I was reading it aloud to my six year old son. None of the characters are remotely believable. It isn't giving anything away to note that "Cosmic" revolves around space travel, an inherently dangerous activity, yet none of the parents in the novel so much as bat an eye at the idea of blasting their young children out alone into space, because, well, the plot requires them to. I found the depiction of the main female chara ...more
Bryce Hostetler

Frank Cottrell Boyce

Liam Digby is a little big for a twelve year old. Correction, he's so big for a twelve year old, that most people believe he's an adult! But that isn't always a ad thing for him. He and his "Daughter" Florida go on adventures that most duos would never get the chance explore. Yet with Liam's father-like appearance and Florida as his daughter, they are able to take an adventure half way around the world. Even a little bit more than just the world too...

I thought that Cos
I first discovered Frank Cottrell Boyce through his movie, Millions. I later went on to read the book which was very good but somehow, for me, failed to live up to the movie. Framed however blew me away. When I finish a book I like to rate it out of 5 and this book was definitely *****. The hilarious story is a family drama set in a small Welsh town, where nothing ever happens. Until the day the entire contents of the National Gallery are moved into the local slate mine for safe keeping while Lo ...more
Gray Tynefield
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell is an out-of-this-world novel about a young boy who is a lot taller than most kids. Liam has always been to big for anything. He never seems to be able to fit in with others because of his size. But soon he realizes he can use it to his advantage. With help from his friend Florida he goes around acting his size, and getting in all sorts of trouble. Taking the role of her dad they duo go around doing things only grown ups could do. Until things get too big, even for him. ...more
Two twelve-year-olds from Waterloo, U.K. (near Liverpool) tell their parents they are going to the Lake District for a school camp, when in fact they are going to the moon. Kids these days! It's only the latest prank pulled by young Liam, who has made a study of ways to get in trouble by being tall for his age and stubbly-chinned. When adults mistake him for one of them because of his height and mature looks, it's as if he can't help himself. It starts at an amusement park, with a thrill ride ot ...more
Cosmic follows the adventure of a 12-year-old boy named Liam, who looks older than he actually is. He uses this to his advantage and gets himself and his friend Florida onto what he thinks is going to be the ultimate amusement park ride--and what turns out to be a rocket into space. He enters a contest for dads and their kids, pretending to be Florida's father. But is Liam up to the challenge of being a dad, of being responsible for kids his own age?

This was a quick, enjoyable read. I read it in
Kathryn Edmunds
1. Genre: Science Fiction

2. Intended age range: Grades 3-5

3. Summary: Liam, a twelve-year-old boy, looks like he is about thirty-years-old. He is really bothered by his unusual looks but his new friend helps him to see that his looks can help him in many different ways. He competes in a contest and is chosen as one of the first kids to enter space, but he ends up having to act like a father

4. Curriculum connection: This would be a great story to start a unit on space and the stars. After teachin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2012 Rose rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Wendy, Dawn
This has been one of my favorite books of the year. Hysterically funny, yet very heartwarming. A book about dads, and about humor and survival, too. The voice was dead-on; I felt like the author had followed my 11YO son around and taken notes. This makes a great read-aloud, too, if you have older kids like mine who still love to be in a story together with you.
Quick and dirty review:
Cosmic is laugh-out-loud funny and poignant all at once. Boyce has a gift for taking an extremely quirky, original premise, one that you think would just be played just for laughs, and sneaking in weighty themes and just enough heartfelt drama and character growth that you are surprisingly moved by the end of it.
What a great book -- thanks Carey for the great recommendation! My husband read it, and now I'm getting my almost 10-yr-old to read it, and even recommended our librarian read it to the 5th graders. It was such a well-told story with a lot of heart and humor. Great for fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for sure!
Kari Burke
Boyce skillfully and amusingly weaves an **almost** believable tale of a 12 year old boy who, because he is unusually tall and has a great deal of facial hair, can easily pass as an adult. We all laughed out loud as we read of the crazy antics of the main character, Liam- including impersonating a new teacher, shopping with a friend who pretends to be his daughter, and travelling halfway around the world for a peek at a brand-new, cutting-edge amusement park.

More than just being hilarious, the
Diego Ladino
The book Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce, is a great book. I never would of known Liam (main character) would be such a trouble maker. I didn't expect him to sort of kidnaped Florida, Liam's friend. They live in England but then during the middle of the book Liam is with Florida in a desert in Chine, going into space. Everyone thinks Liam is a grow up but he's only 12 and people thought he was around 30. The book is really funny. I would recommend this book to people that like reading funny and ...more
Ghanem Alkalbani
it's COSMIC !! .. I really liked the main character Liam for being brave compared to his age, and how he want to achieve his dreams. Also, the way he treated Florida when they were in China. He treated her as a real father and a good friend. However, I hated Dr. Drax, and the carless she was showing to the parents and kids, especially when she said that the whole task is a top secret and she's not responsible if anything goes wrong in the space. On the other hand, the parents were non-responiabl ...more
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Boy goes to space, very interesting book [s] 24 267 Aug 22, 2014 08:00PM  
Your chance to interview Frank Cottrell Boyce 4 19 Mar 03, 2012 06:19AM  
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Frank Cottrell Boyce is a British screenwriter, novelist and occasional actor.

In addition to original scripts, Cottrell Boyce has also adapted novels for the screen and written children's fiction, winning the 2004 Carnegie Medal for his debut, Millions, based on his own screenplay for the film of the same name.
His novel Framed was shortlisted for the Whitbread Book of the Year as well as the Carne
More about Frank Cottrell Boyce...
Millions Framed The Unforgotten Coat Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, #2) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, #3)

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“We walked on the moon. We made footprints somewhere no one else had ever made footprints, and unless someone comes and rubs them out, those footprints will be there forever because there’s no wind.” 7 likes
“Gravity is not a trivial monster.” 4 likes
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