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The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  496 ratings  ·  139 reviews
A girl's friendship with a lonely black hole leads her to face her own sadness in this original, funny, and touching middle grade novel for fans ofCrenshaw andFlora & Ulysses.

When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan's Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and se
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Dial Books
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  496 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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A sweet, humorous tale of grief, family & learning how to begin moving forward. About a year ago, Stella lost her father & up until this point, has refused to talk about it. (She hates when her little brother Cosmo brings him up; they are not supposed to talk about him.) She decides to give a recording of her father's laugh to be included in Carl Sagan's Golden Record because she doesn't want to have the painful reminder anymore. Only, when she comes back from NASA, she finds that a blac ...more
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
One of the funniest, most creative MG books I've read, but it's also got a heart made of the sad darkness of loss. Told in second person, Stella Rodriguez addresses her father who's passed away and from the very first paragraph, her dazzling prose drew me in. Plus, space and science!

A great pairing with The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jen Maschari.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I truly could not have loved this book more. Hilarious, creative, quirky, and totally filled my heartbroken soul. I might be in my 30s, but this helped heal me after the loss of my dad more than lots of “grown-up” books have. An incredible book that I can’t wait to share with both the little kids AND big kids who need it.

- - -

“You can always tell a weirdo by the way they don’t find weird activities the least bit weird.”

“A person can’t just be the good parts. For a person to be a person, you hav
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I was finally able to see that nothing was simply good or bad, that everyone contained multitudes, and that I, like anyone, was a beautiful, swirling, chaotic galaxy of all the things that had ever happened to me.”


It was everything I wanted it to be - scientific, funny, emotional, educational and relatable.

I would give it all the stars in the universe if I could!

Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always, Michelle Cuevas left me a blubbering puddle of sobs on the train and the bus. I love, love, love her heart wrenching, redemptive words.
Lorie Barber
The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole is about a girl who unexpectedly finds a black hole while on her way home from NASA, and decides to keep it for a pet. But Stella has also recently lost her father, and her pet black hole becomes something oh so much more. The metaphor of grief as a black hole is such a simple, yet profound comparison. It both helps children understand an abstract concept, and gives those in the throes of grief something tangible to hold on to. A bonus? Stella is FUNNY. I ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adoro i libri per bambini, perché nascondo sempre un tesoro tra le loro pagine e anche alcuni pensano che solo perché c'è scritto che l'età di lettura va dai 9 anni in su non siano perfetti per gli adulti sono invece perfetti per tutte le età e hanno molto da insegnare a noi adulti.
Il fantastico viaggio di Stella è un libro con una storia toccante, che sfiora il cuore del lettore, lo avvolge dolcemente e lo conduce all'interno della vita della piccola protagonista, gli mostra come una bimba di 1
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn’t know anything about the book when I first picked it up. What I thought would be a cute middle grade fantasy novel, turned out to be much more meaningful than I anticipated. It is a story about a girl dealing with grief after her father’s death. About how avoidance is not the best solution to your problems and how by trying to forget the bad things you inevitably let go of some of the good as well.
Hizatul Akmah
If you can keep on and face the darkness, it will, in the end, take you where you need to go. It will take you back to yourself.

as i expected, this was an emotional hell of ride.
Kristen Picone
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a unique book about dealing with grief and loss. The story is told in the 2nd person Point of view as Stella speaks directly to her father, who recently passed away. The story never mentioned explicitly what happened to Stella’s dad, but instead focuses on the “after”. A black hole shows up one day and Stella uses it to rid her life of everything that she doesn’t like, that makes her uncomfortable, or that makes her think about her dad. When she and her brother get swallowed by Larry, Stell ...more
The Reading Countess
What do you do when you have a student in your class who eats, sleeps and BREATHES all things space? Well, if you are lucky to come across a book review about a girl your students' age who is also crazy about all things space you order it pronto. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole is a quick, quirky read with an unusual mix of levity and depth that both surprised me and kept me turning the pages from the first to the last in one sitting. The whimsical art sprinkled throughout added another ...more
I picked up an ARC of this book when I was at ALA. My 5 and a half year old wanted to read it when he saw it, and so we just finished it this week. He gave it an enthusiastic five stars, and I would tend to agree with him. I really enjoyed this book, it combines serious and silly, both taking seriously the loss of a parent, while keeping it tonally appropriate for younger kids. I would consider it excellent read for children who have lost parents, or for children who have friends who might have, ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Larry, the pet black hole is named after his singularity or gravitational center and is eating his feelings. Anything he touches gets absorbed into his core and he wants to snuggle with soft, furry things the most. There goes Stinky Stu, the classroom hamster and later The Dog With No Name.

Our protagonist, Stella, launches an expedition to recover their puppy and her brother Cosmos is inadvertently sucked in with her. As they plumb the depths of the black hole that is Larry, they renew their rel
This is one of those few delightful children's books that manages to, through the magic of excellent writing, portray a child character who is astute, yet not pretentious, witty, yet not bratty, introspective, yet not whiny, and gets involved in a storyline that is silly, fun, and ridiculous, AND serious, sad, and thought-provoking all at once. In short, this thin volume has everything either a child or an adult could possibly want in a great book. I'm a fan for life, Michelle Cuevas!

PS- Highly
Sara ~ Bookspedia
Bello, bello, bello.

La recensione completa -->
duniamimpigie Anggi
Hmmm... Gak jelek, tapi juga gak akan masuk daftar buku anak favorit saya.
Premis awalnya bikin saya kepincut: anak perempuan punya peliharaan black hole.
Tapi, konklusi di akhir bikin saya agak kecewa karena jelas-jelas ini merupakan pemfiksian pengalaman pengarang kehilangan sang ayah (angkat?).
Memfiksikan pengalaman yang pernah benar-benar terjadi pada diri pengarang memang bukan sesuatu yang buruk atau salah. Jauh dari itu malah. Justru pengalaman merupakan sumber ide utama bagi penulis, term
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stella Rodriguez is an 11-year-old girl trying to cope with the recent death of her father, when a small black hole (Stella calls it Larry, short for Singularity) who loves to cuddle follows her home from NASA one day. Given that Larry is a black hole, things around the neighborhood start disappearing, shenanigans ensue, and Stella and her little brother Cosmo set off on an adventure to find all of the things that Larry ate. This early middle-grades book has a delightful sense of humor, and skil ...more
Jenni Bader
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This book is one of the most beautiful and wise pieces of writing on dealing with grief and depression. At the same time it is a charming and funny story of a future scientist, her most unusual pet, and an exciting adventure into the unknown territories of outer and inner space. Although written for middle grade readers, it has earned a space on the shelf in my high school classroom. Older teens and adults can appreciate both the story and insight as well as older elementary and middle school st ...more
Gross humor in a book with a female main character, YAY!
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet story, and very wise. Read to me by my dd11. Made me cry.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loooooooved this book! So smart, funny and heartbreaking.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a Pixar movie in novel form. It's imaginative, funny, and tear-jerking. My husband only started listening to it halfway through, and he cried even more than I did at the end.

The audiobook version of this is SUPERB, by the way!
Suzanne Maley
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully imaginative. Even though there is much sadness, there is also a lot of humor. A modern take on Alice in Wonderland. You will fall in lover with the characters.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg-fiction
Lovely book, conveys well the isolation and loneliness of grief
Jenn Bishop
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just loved this one.
Charlotte Bartsch
This a beautiful children's book about loss snd grief. I wish I had had it when my father passed away. It is insightful and adorable.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story about grief, family, and getting back to the task of living.
Stella is a realistic character - even if the black hole that follows her home may not be. She is consumed by grief and it isn't until her brother and dog are consumed as well that she starts to climb back out.
Would make a good read aloud and would also be good for students who may not know they are grieving.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was filled with humor, puns, a girl who wants to work for NASA, and a brother who loves his bath toy.

This story is a metaphor for grief that is written in such an engaging way, the reader will be too busy enjoying the adventure to realize how much they're learning along the way.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who has lived with a black hole in their lives, as it teaches that grieving doesn't have to be done alone. I believe this book would be especially helpful to middle grade child
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mock-newbery
I read this in one sitting; Stella's voice pulled me right in. So much creativity, humor, and pathos rolled into one well-written, interesting book. Loved the constellations like Ice-Cream Conius and Jar of Fireflies; the gnome names like Zoomwinkle and Pimpert; Stella's realizations like "I could see that Mrs. Nimbus wasn't just crazy, but that she was sad"; the black pages when she jumps into the black hole; the Brussels sprouts; the river of words ... so much good stuff.

p. 80: "A person can'
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Cute, but so woefully wrong scientifically that it's difficult to recommend. I got the analogy and that this wasn't a real black hole but still!
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Michelle Cuevas was born in 1982 in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. She graduated from Williams College and holds a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Virginia, where she received the Henry Hoyns Fellowship. 

Michelle is the author of The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow illustrated by Sydney Smith, national bestseller  The Uncorker of
“It's like the stars in our constellations that we made," you said. "Even if one star dies far, far away, its light is still visible, and the constellation it helped to make remains. A thing can be gone and still be your guide." He took my hand. "You know what I would say in any situation, what advice I would give, how much I'll always believe in you. That belongs to you. That love. And no one can touch it, or alter it, or take it away. It will live in you your whole life. Who knows, maybe longer.” 1 likes
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