Mar 16, 2021

Book Spotlight: See You in the Cosmos

Let's say you have the chance to communicate with aliens. Maybe this interaction will be the first time aliens will ever hear a song from planet Earth. What song would you want them to hear? Something by Taylor Swift? The Jonas Brothers? What about Elvis? Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski is going to show aliens what life on Earth is like. He's got a plan: He's going to launch his iPod into space at the Southwest High Altitude Rocket Festival, just like how Carl Sagan launched the Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. But like most things in Alex's life, the iPod launch doesn't go exactly according to plan. Instead, Alex finds himself on a road trip to uncover the secrets of his family with Carl Sagan, his dog - not the scientist, a motivational speaker who has taken a vow of silence, and a few other rocket enthusiasts. I have found this book to be one that engages reluctant readers and young boys. Alex is such a relatable character, and it's pretty hard not to root for him and fall in love with all his quirks. While Alex deals with a lot of big stuff, like mental illness and estranged family members, he does so in a way that is thoughtful and sweet, and full of astronomy jokes. Another appeal for young readers is the format of the book. The book is told entirely through the recordings that Alex makes on his iPod to share with aliens. It's quirky, it's fun, and it's a great book club title or one for the whole family to explore together. Check out See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng at your Library.