Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

Orbiting Jupiter

NewGen - YA Fiction   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Share this book

Lovereading view...

Before meeting his new foster brother, Jack understands what he and his family are ‘getting into’. Fourteen-year-old Joseph almost killed a teacher, and he has a three-month-old daughter, Jupiter, whom he’s never seen. But from the outset, when Joseph storms off the school bus and Jack joins him on the freezing two mile walk, we know he’s found a friend and ally. We know Jack ‘has his back’.
At first Joseph won’t be touched, barely speaks and is nervous of milking the cows on Jack’s farm but, as Jack comments, “you can tell all you need to know about someone from the way cows are around him”, and the cows love Joseph. Slowly-slowly, Joseph opens up and begins to smile - Jack counts each one of them – but he’s haunted by memories of the girl he loved, Jupiter’s mother, and by her tragic death. Joseph can’t get Jupiter out of his mind either, and so his nightly sky-search for her planetary namesake becomes a heartrending real-world search; he has to find his baby daughter.

While further loss lies ahead, this is, ultimately, a remarkable read-in-one-sitting story of friendship, love and the glow of hope that comes from second chances and new life. Joseph’s tragic tale will break your heart, but the tenderness that flows from this flawlessly compact novel will also piece it back together. ~ Joanne Owen


Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

This is a heartbreaking story, narrated by twelve-year-old Jack, whose family is caring for fourteen-year-old Joseph. Joseph is misunderstood. He was incarcerated for trying to kill a teacher. Or so the rumours say. But Jack and his family see something others in town don't want to. What's more, Joseph has a daughter he's never seen. The two boys go on a journey through the bitter Maine winter to help Joseph find his baby - no matter the cost.


Schmidt writes with an elegant simplicity in this paean to the power of love Kirkus, starred review

A powerful story about second chances. Publishers Weekly, starred review

In his welcome style of brief beautiful breaths, Gary Schmidt has crafted another moving story Bookbug

Gary has done it again ... a finely crafted book, honest, and above all a story about goodness as well as evil Kids Ink

I wasn't expecting Orbiting Jupiter to bring me to my knees, but it's reassuring to be reminded how a fine piece of storytelling can put me right there -- Collete Morgan Wild Rumpus

About the Author

Gary D. Schmidt is an American children's writer of nonfiction books and young adult novels, including two Newbery Honor books and one Printz Honor award. He lives on a farm in Michigan and has six children. He is a Professor of English at Calvin College.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

7th January 2016


Gary D. Schmidt

More books by Gary D. Schmidt
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website


Andersen Press Ltd


192 pages


NewGen - YA Fiction
eBook Favourites

Family & home stories (Children's / Teenage)
Personal & social issues: family issues (Children's / Teenage)
Children's / Teenage fiction & true stories
Personal & social issues: death & bereavement (Children's / Teenage)
Personal & social issues: bullying, violence & abuse (Children's / Teenage)



It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright

I love the 'like for like' author recommendations, it's like an old friend whispering in your ear.

Emma Caddick

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

Lovereading is like booking a holiday, you don't know what it will be like and it is a whole new experience.

Sue Burton

I love reading books I wouldn't normally choose before everyone else gets to read them!

Dawn Lynch

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell