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Orbiting Jupiter

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  17,638 ratings  ·  3,475 reviews
When Jack meets his new foster brother, he already knows three things about him:

Joseph almost killed a teacher.

He was incarcerated at a place called Stone Mountain.

He has a daughter. Her name is Jupiter. And he has never seen her.

What Jack doesn’t know, at first, is how desperate Joseph is to find his baby girl.

Or how urgently he, Jack, will want to help.

But the past can’t
...more
Kindle Edition, 183 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Clarion Books
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Kelly Thielen I'm a middle school librarian and I think this book is appropriate for middle school. Even though there is some mature subject matter involving teen…moreI'm a middle school librarian and I think this book is appropriate for middle school. Even though there is some mature subject matter involving teen pregnancy, it is only the result of the pregnancy that is discussed in any detail in the book. There may be some sensitivity to the concluding chapters as well for some students, but I believe my seventh and eighth graders, as well as my mature sixth grade readers would be fine with the book. I do agree that "Children's" is a misleading label, however. (less)

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Emily May
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 stars. My god, this book was so sad.

I'm not a book crier. Not really. When I say a book made me cry I usually mean that tears filled my eyes, but that's all. This book, though... I got pretty close a few times and then in the penultimate chapter, I just lost it. I actually felt my face crumple and my nose was stinging.

Now I've painted you that beautiful picture of my breakdown, I'm going to try to review this book. It's not easy. I've loved Schmidt's other YA/Middle Grade contemporary nove
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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ by: Emily May


This book takes all your certainties and let them shaken to the core.

This book quietly breaks your heart through and through... but rarely characters managed to make me feel a love so bright, so pure and real.

This book doesn't need quirky teenagers or fantastic settings to enthrall you, but pictures real life issues with such honestly and tenderness.

This book doesn't do purple prose, clever metaphors, and yet I love this writing to pieces for the powerful way it conveys emotions, quietly, so,
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Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
If there is a benevolent, all-powerful God, then why does He allow evil to persist?

This is the question that this short book made me ponder.

I once saw an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson in which he expressed that the existence of a God that is both omnipotent & benevolent is in itself contradictory to the existence of evil in the world.

God must therefore be one or the other; He must either be all powerful with a capacity for allowing evil, or he must be all benevolent without the abili
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Laura
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very beautiful and heartbreaking. Orbiting Jupiter is the story of a fourteen year old boy, Joseph, who was in prison and is now joining the twelve year old narrator Jack's family as a foster child. Between these boys, we learn what it means to have someone's back and how powerful friendship can be. We slowly learn Joseph's backstory including the fact that he has a baby daughter, Jupiter, he has never even seen. This is a very quick read and has the message of getting to know someone before ju ...more
Donalyn
Beautiful and devastating. Don't miss this one, but get tissue for the inevitable sobbing.
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“Christmas is the season for miracles, you know. Sometimes they come big and loud, I guess – but I’ve never seen one of those. I think probably most miracles are a lot smaller, and sort of still, and so quiet, you could miss them. I didn’t miss this one.”

Palm Springs commercial photography

WTF have you done to me, Anna? Good grief. I had feelings two days in a row. My robot heart is obviously in need of a tune-up.

Orbiting Jupiter begins with Jack’s family making a v
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Drew
“He really could have been any other eighth-grade kid at Eastham Middle School. Except he had a daughter.”

How do I even write this review?

I love books, in case you hadn't noticed. I dedicate so much of my time to reading because I am constantly searching for those exciting stories with living, breathing characters. Yet out of all the novels I've read, only one I've ever come across has made me cry.

I sniffled at the end of Allegiant and A Monster Calls, but the book that really did it for me
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Sarah Churchill
Why are all the books out to break me?!

I feel numb. For a middlegrade this is incredibly deep and touching, it will forever change the way I look at 'trouble kids' and I WANT TO HUG JOSEPH!

There isn't really anything I can add other than the synopsis without spoiling anything, so I won't. Just know that 192 pages can do a lot.
Jen
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This book WRECKED me. It played my emotions like I was a Strad violin and the author a prodigy musician. Seriously, you need to read this book and you need to read it NOW.

Et hem. Excuse me. Let me start again. Please note I will be vague, as I do not want to spoil this book for anyone.

The narrator of the book is a 12 year old boy, living in Maine with his parents on a farm. They foster a 14 year old boy who has a heart of gold and has been through the wringer re: crappy abusive ignorant parent,
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David Schaafsma
I read this in 2015 and it was one of my favorite books of the year. I just read it again for a YA class and will amend the review a little to account for my current view of it.

I quote Richie Partington's review: "Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy; The Wednesday Wars; and Trouble are three well-known historical novels for young people by Gary D. Schmidt. Each of the three contains a complex, exceptionally well-drawn father character. Each of the three fictional fathers exhibits notable blind
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☮Karen
This was just a wonderful YA book, and yes it has affected me emotionally and deeply. A 14 year old boy fathered a baby daughter, got into some trouble at school, was sent to a juvenile detention center, and then into foster care with a loving farm family. Now his greatest desire is to be with his daughter, Jupiter, named after his favorite planet and also in foster care. Joseph's yearning to be with Jupiter reminded me so much of the great Aerosmith song I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing that I just h ...more
Lala BooksandLala
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
wow, for such a short story, I felt invested pretty early on. heartbreaking.
Sierra
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stewart
This could have been so, so much better- and nearly was, until three-quarters of the way through, when all of the plot devices you're hoping weren't going to be pulled out suddenly are, and the book ends on an almost insultingly predictable way. This had all the makings of a truly amazing book- the writing, in particular, was so different from Schmidt's earlier books- haunting, spare, simple language. The characters remained a bit underdeveloped, but in a good way, like acquaintances rather than ...more
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I was very much looking forward to Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt because I generally really enjoy Gary Scmidt's books. After reading the first chapter, I was certain that this one would wreck me emotionally. Possibly more than any other. I wasn't wrong. But I also wasn't right. I was expecting a good sort of emotionally destroyed. A Code Name Verity type of emotionally destroyed. That's not what I got.


Jack lives a quiet sheltered life
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Wanda
You can tell all you need to know about someone from the way cows are around him.

This is Jack’s opinion concerning his new foster-brother, Joseph, who may have trouble with teachers and the other kids in school, but he is loved by Rosie the cow. Generally, I do find animals’ responses to people to say a bit at least about their mood. Horses certainly know whether you are paying attention or not (and will plant a big hoof on your foot if they are displeased with your lack of regard).

Milking co
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Jessica
lesigh

Ya'll I MAD CRIED ON THE PLANE. I was so pissed and so TERRIBLY ANGRY.

Orbiting Jupiter is interesting. One of it's poignant moments: The unveiling of Joseph's backstory is slightly reminiscent of The Notebook and I'm not sure if it's a) because life looks different as a 13-year old, b) the cynicism of my adulthood has set in or c) if I really hope and believe that "true love" at such a young age exists.

In the end, WHO CARES?! I'm serious, the love story wasn't even why I was angry. It was the
...more
Karin
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely gut wrenching. I easily fell in love with Joseph and his foster family. If only all foster kids could be so lucky to get a family like this. And Jack! Can't say enough about him. Immediately ready to go to bat for Joseph! This is definitely one you need to put on your tbr pile.
Carrie Gelson
I read this title in one sitting because it is impossible not to. Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Full of hope and pain. Gary D Schmidt is one of my absolute favourite authors, hands down.
Susan
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, library
Orbiting Jupiter

Gary D. Schmidt


Twelve year old Jack finds his family fostering a fourteen year old boy named Joseph. Joseph doesn't talk to any of them and they aren't really sure what is going on inside his head. The only thing they know is that he is coming to them from a juvenile detention center and he is a FATHER.......Wow. ORBITING JUPITER is going to pull on your heart strings and have you cheering for a better life for Joseph.



My stomach was in knots reading about Joseph and what he went
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Malia
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Wow, this was a sad book! I've read The Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt, which certainly had elements of sadness, but humor, too. I don't want to spoil Orbiting Jupiter for anyone, though. While it is quite melancholy, it is thoughtful and very well written, just like Schmidt's other books, and fans of the author and his writing should not give this one a miss. The story is, on the surface, a very simple one. Fourteen-year-old Joseph is taken in as a foster child by a farming ...more
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of short gut-punchers
Recommended to Elise by: Ms. B at the library
Orbiting Jupiter is one of the saddest books I've read in my entire life, and I don't say that lightly. It is meant to make you sob, and it will. This book follows Jack and his foster brother Joseph, a 14-year-old boy who has a daughter he's never met.

Usually I'd take issue with this kind of book for the emotional manipulation. However, the emotional realness of this one definitely stands out. It's quietly sad. The characters never tell you to feel– you just feel anyway. I didn't feel manipulat
...more
Layla
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Taake was right, this book does give you all the feels. The book "Orbiting Jupiter" told an incredibly moving story about foster parenting, a young father, cute cows and having somebody's back. It will probably make you cry, just a warning. Once I started reading the book I could not put it down, it was just that good of a book. The book was so good that it made Jupiter my favorite planet and that says a lot.
Maddie
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
A super quick read about finding people who have your back. Although I find the 13 year old father thing slightly...creepy? I guess is the word, I loved what this book was doing in terms of first impressions versus someone's real personality.
Jessica
A spare, heartbreaking, gorgeous book. I wish to say no more.
Jahanzaib Asim
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i fuc*ing hate everyone.
i hate hate hate hate everyone.
I'm just going to cry myself to sleep now...
Angels, where the hell were you?
Rtc...
Richie Partington
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Richie’s Picks: ORBITING JUPITER by Gary D. Schmidt, Clarion, October 2015, 192p., ISBN: 978-0-544-46222-9

“‘Would you have left a guy being beat up to go find a teacher?’ I asked.
“My father, he wiped his hand across his face, and what was left behind was a smile.
“Really, a smile.
“‘Not in a million years,’ he said.
“‘John!’ said my mother.
“‘Well, he asked,’ said my father. ‘Just be careful, Jack. Be careful.’”

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy; The Wednesday Wars; and Trouble are three well-kno
...more
Justine

4.5 stars

Ugh the feels.

You know, it's hard assessing emotionally devastating books objectively. Once they touch your heart and make you feel hollow and sad, your emotional response would make you neglect all the flaws you've noticed throughout the story.

Orbiting Jupiter is not a perfect book, I admit. But I'm tempted right now to give it the full 5 stars, just because of how emotional and poignant it is. The story is highly compelling. Joseph's actions may annoy others but for me he was a sympat
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Maddie
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was SOOOOO good!!!!!!!!!!! I almost cried at the ending though.......
Syndi
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This books is thin. Judging from the thinness I thought this book going to be boring. And I am so wrong. Even thought this book is thin, the wording is just..... so good. Not a heart warming, make me feel good good. But powerful and sad. So sad.

Joseph tears me up. His love story with Maddie was told in very short short chapter but I thought it was the most beautiful intense love story I ever read. So simple, innocent and yet heart breaking beautiful.

And Jack... oh goodness. He is just.... a be
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Gary D. Schmidt is an American children's writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor books. He lives on a farm in Alto, Michigan,with his wife and six children, where he splits wood, plants gardens, writes, feeds the wild cats that drop by and wishes that sometimes the sea breeze came that far inland. He is a Professor of English at Calvin College.

“You know how teachers are. If they get you to take out a book they love too, they're yours for life.” 29 likes
“It's not the solution, Mr. Canton. It's the path to the solution that's fascinating.” 15 likes
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