Schmidt, Gary D. Orbiting Jupiter. Fiction. Clarion/Houghton, 10/2015. 183pp. $17.99. 978-0-544-46222-9. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 6-9.
Their son Jack’s narrative begins when a rural farm family takes in foster son Joseph, a 13-year-old who has a record of trouble as well as an infant daughter somewhere. As Joseph grows to trust the Hurds, he explains his abusive family history, his side of the legal infractions, and why he needs to find his daughter Jupiter. Despite the Hurds’ succor, however, trouble tragically finds Joseph. Jack’s spare taut account is eloquent in its directness. His loyalty and his family’s support and love for Jack are more often expressed in their actions than their words. Although Joseph is the focus of the story, Jack and his parents emerge as heroic, caring figures in this deeply moving novel.
Linda Perkins, Independent