Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow” as Want to Read:
Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow

(Jacob Wonderbar #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Jacob Wonderbar is used to detentions, but when a spaceship crashes near his house, he finds himself in a whole new level of trouble. After swapping a corn dog for the ship, he and his two best friends, Sarah Daisy and Dexter, take off on a madcap adventure. They accidentally cause an epic explosion, get kidnapped by a space pirate, and are marooned on planets like Numonia
Hardcover, 281 pages
Published May 12th 2011 by Dial Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  262 ratings  ·  65 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow
While it’s true that you usually can’t judge a book by its cover, I think this one gives you a really good idea of what the book is about. Three friends, traveling through space, mostly having the time of their lives (though one looks a little nervous!). Even the author himself said that he rewrote the description of his main character after he saw the illustration. So, if the cover appeals to you, read on:

“Space travel is all fun and games until someone breaks the universe.” With twelve-year-o
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Nathan Bransford's Blog for years now (funny, helpful, kind, informative). So, I was thrilled to learn that he'd written a book and I couldn't wait to get a copy!

I was not disappointed!
"Jacob Wonderbar" is fun, funny, and clever, as well as touching, sweet, and thoughtful. For the first few chapters I was concerned that the characters were going to be too similar to characters that tend to populate most MG books. But, it became clear very soon that such was not the case! Jacob
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fun, funny, and fast-paced! I thoroughly enjoyed my trip with Jacob Wonderbar and friends. I really liked all the humor and seeing what the rest of the universe looks like ;-) And, I loved how things moved right along very quickly; each chapter was just the right length (and stopped in the right place) to leave me wanting to read more. The end left me wondering about a couple of things, but I see that there are more Wonderbar books which might explain some of that; I will certainly be looking fo ...more
The Library Lady
Started this and by the time Jacob and friends were off the spaceship, I was ready to put it down.
I think this one goes in the category of "it's not as easy to write for kids as you think it is".

Unless you've got something new and cool to say or are such a terrific writer that you've said what's been said before in your own special way.Neither is the case here.
Sandra Stiles
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have been a follower of Nathan Bransford’s blog, for a little over a year. When I learned he had written a book and it was in the early reviewers giveaway at LibraryThing I had to try. I was thrilled that I won a copy for review. Normally I review things pretty quickly. However, we had a read-a-thon at school and I had brought several books. Many of my students didn’t have a book or had finished theirs and I ended up loaning them my books. I sat down Saturday night and started the book and fin ...more
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sara by: Author's blog
Shelves: 2013, middle-grade
Jacob and his two best friends, Sarah and Dexter, are outside in their neighborhood one day when a spaceship lands nearby. The spaceship soon becomes theirs, and almost immediately after they set foot inside, it blasts off for a trip around the universe. They accidentally set off a chain of events that makes them wonder whether they'll ever be able to return to Earth and have a crazy adventure moving from one planet to the next, all the while trying to figure out how to get home.

The first chapte
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW (henceforth called JACOB WONDERBAR) is ridiculous in the best possible way. I was fully entertained from page 1 right to the end, and often laughed out loud at the sillyness.

Jacob, Dexter and Sarah are three typical fifth graders – though Jacob has a knack for getting rid of substitute teachers – until they trade a spaceship for a corndog. Then, they’re fifth graders in space. What follows their initial blast off into the big, wide Milky Way Galaxy is a
Jenna St Hilaire
Oct 27, 2012 rated it liked it
It’s hard to imagine young boys—and girls—not loving Bransford’s Jacob Wonderbar, terror of substitute teachers and adventurer extraordinaire. Jacob has a lot of heart underneath the bluff, and his best friends are just as much fun: forceful Sarah Daisy, who believes she can do everything, and gentle Dexter, who doesn’t understand how to make decisions when other people’s feelings are involved. I loved Dexter.

The plot details have middle school boy written all over them: the burp breath planet,
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I must confess, books that turn teachers into villains irritate me to some degree. Probably since I know so many teachers who work so hard to help their kids. Plus, the substitutes I've met have been really nice. But Bransford made up for the wacky substitutes by providing a great teacher by the name of Miss Banks. I also loved the idea of a separate planet where teachers can go on vacation. Sounds great!

I wasn't really expecting the book to be all that believable. I mean, breaking the universe
Jul 21, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a deviation from my normal readings habits. I gave it 3 stars just to be 'fair' and show neutralism. Otherwise, I would have given it 2 stars, but for the fact that it's not a book I'd normally read, which means that I would hate it, or not enjoy it, for that reason alone, so I decided to be neutral with the rating. I only read the book because I enjoy the author's blog.

The author does a good job with characterization. Each character has his/her hangups. The universe is well thought-out
Rick Daley
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read. I'm a big fan of Douglas Adams, and it reminded me of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in some if its worlds and shenanigans. At the same time, though, it was original (there were no corndogs in The Guide, but a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster would be ideal to wash one down, come to think of it!)

Nathan Bransford is a great writer, his story-telling style is clear and his sense of pacing is dull moments. The story and characters will appeal to young boys and girls,
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Reading this one out loud to the kids. It's easier for me to read out loud with them, how the sentences flow and are structured. But, I don't think this will be on of our favorites. Ryan doesn't like that the main character is a goof off, but we are starting to get into the story and we'll see how everyone feels at the end!

After finishing it, we just weren't that impressed, the writing's not the greatest, story is ok. Don't know that we'll read any more of them...
Tracey Baptiste
Jul 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Um, this was fine. Because of the title I expected a lot more quirkiness, but I found some of the interactions and descriptions to fall flat. However, it was innovative, and the characters were fun. Kids would definitely like it, and I think it has equal boy and girl appeal. I don't know if I'm intrigued enough to pick up book 2, but a lot of kids would.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Admittedly, my standards for this agent turned author were probably a little high. It was a good book, but often it felt like you could hear the author thinking, "This would be cool here, and this would work well here..."
Josh Newhouse
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
very cute wacky fun elementary space odyssey thats kind of like Douglas adams crossed with The Phantom Tollbooth with a hint of Star Wars/spaceballs... one gratuitious reference to calculators spelling "boobies"...
Giovanni Zuniga
Oct 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Boring ,not much to read. It isnt really that interesting for me because I like really funny books.
Glenn Younger
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute story for young teens

Cute story for young teens. It got a little slow in the middle and leaves some questions unanswered at the end. However, it still has enough teenage adventure and fantasy to delight a young reader.
Elisabeth Staab
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(review from my 3rd grader: "It was awesome!"
yennie quintero
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It’s crazy,weird,but I can’t stop reading

One of the best books I’ve ever read

Super cool, and this is a extremely good book so buy it
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pretty fun, silly, madcap adventure
Margo Berendsen
My favorite parts of this wacky adventure across the galaxy start with the first chapter standoff between Jacob and Mrs Pinkerton, the kind of substitute teacher you hope you never have... and then later in the story when Jacob gets sentenced to an entire planet of substitute teachers for his misdeeds. "All those UFO sightings now made a great deal more sense."

What is life like on a planet of substitute teachers? Jacob can handle any sub on earth, but "he was no match for these younger subs in t
May 08, 2011 rated it liked it
full review on my blog, holes In My brain

Jacob Wonderbar. I feel that should be in all caps: JACOB WONDERBAR! I can subconsciously associate a lot of things with this, and I think just the title says a lot. It’s extravagant, fun, quirky and entertaining.

I don’t read much Middle Grade fiction, in fact, I rarely wander out of my YA bubble but every once in a while I notice something and read it for kicks—like in this case. Jacob Wonderbar didn’t blow me away, but it was a welcome distraction from
David Kubicek
May 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: ages 9 and up
Jacob Wonderbar has one of the coolest log-lines I've ever seen: "Space travel is all fun and games until someone breaks the universe."

That sentence sets the tone of this zany novel for young people, ages 9 and up. Jacob - general troublemaker and the terror of substitute teachers - and his friends, Dexter and Sarah, buy a spaceship from a disgruntled alien for a corn dog and set off for adventures in outer space.

In trying to prevent their spaceship from crashing, they fire a missile that cause
Jan 23, 2012 rated it liked it
A little too juvenile for my usual reading. I really felt this could have been shorter. It cobbled together so many different events that what started out as imaginative just became more convoluted. I appreciate trying to include some science in the narrative (I liked the night and days being 30 seconds long), but it included some bad science too. (A vacuum would never "pull" anything, because it's nothing! What happens is that things get pushed from the area with higher pressure/more molecules. ...more
The universe has a plan for Jacob Wonderbar...who knew it would all begin with corndogs, men in silver suits, and substitute teachers! Jacob has a reputation, far and wide, for his ability to torment substitute teachers and this day, Jacob has a particularly weird experience. After school, Jacob and his best friends, Sarah and Dexter meet a man in a silver suit who trades his spaceship for a corndog...a corndog? YES!

The trio commandeers the airship through space causing, what is affectionately k
Elissa Hoole
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
A lively story about three friends who cause mischief in this solar system and a few others, Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow is a light-hearted read that made me smile. With spaceship chase scenes involving vengeful substitute teachers, a planet whose atmosphere smells of burp-breath, rebellious royalty, and mathematician mice, it certainly has all the ingredients to hook young readers. That said, the pace in the beginning lagged a bit, and the humor lacked a laugh-out-loud kind of sp ...more
Ben Campbell
If you like milk and Oreo cookies you'll like Nathan Bransford. If you like middle-grade books you'll like Jacob Wonderbar. I enjoyed reading this Cosmic Space Kapow but was somewhat disappointed with a few of the props. They sounded all too familiar like they were borrowed from the movies Star Trek and Star Wars, and you'll recognize them as you read.

Nathan's creativity came forward with a few mining specifics like burp breath, night and day each lasting one minute and trading a corn dog for a
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow is the first title in a fun new series that will appeal to young readers who like an action-packed, silly, and imaginative adventure. Jacob is a smart kid who has a special gift for driving substitute teachers to their breaking point with sly pranks. He has two loyal friends in Dexter, his trusted sidekick, and Sarah, who wants no part of any sexist treatment just because she's a girl. Jacob's hard-working single mom is raising him alone after his fathe ...more
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Jacob and his friends Dexter and Sarah have come across a spaceship in the woods. They trade the owner a corndog for it and take off on an intergalactic adventure! They meet a space pirate, a princess, wacky scientists and the king of everything, but what they want most of all is to go home. The problem is, they caused a big “Space Kapow” and now the path back is obstructed and under construction. While the title of this book was very intriguing, I found the novel disappointing. The plot twists ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wishtree
  • Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1)
  • Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation
  • The Arctic Incident  (Artemis Fowl #2)
  • The Amazing Life of Azaleah Lane
  • Letters from Camp
  • Bliss (The Bliss Bakery, #1)
  • The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl #4)
  • Lost in Yellowstone (The Land of Curiosities, Book 2)
  • The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl #3)
  • Tyrannosaurus Wrecks (FunJungle)
  • Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1)
  • Joey Pigza Loses Control (Joey Pigza, #2)
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
  • Monstrous Devices
  • The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (The Vanderbeekers, #1)
  • The Night Olivia Fell
  • Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
See similar books…
Nathan Bransford is the author of How to Write a Novel (October, 2013), Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow (Dial, May 2011), Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe (Dial, April 2012) and Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp (Dial, February 2013). He was formerly a literary agent with Curtis Brown Ltd. and is now the director of community and social media at Freelancers Uni ...more

Other books in the series

Jacob Wonderbar (3 books)
  • Jacob Wonderbar for President of the Universe
  • Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp

News & Interviews

  Award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa’s highly anticipated new book, Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America, arrives...
35 likes · 0 comments