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Parent reviews for Orbiting Jupiter

Common Sense says

Devastating, deeply moving story of love and resilience.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 18 reviews
Adult Written byAbby H. February 16, 2018

Dear curious reader or over protective parent:

I have read a few reviews from parents who say this book is "too mature" for their precious and naive offspring and say this book is "poorly written." First and foremost, this book isn't anything other than real. Parents can't shield their children away from pain and the tragedies of the world forever. And the parents who try have the kids who grow up and can't handle the world and break. The world isn't full of rainbows and butterflies and sometimes that's okay. The bad makes the good moments that much better. This book tries to pry open the eyes of the neglectful minds of society who think because it doesn't happen to them, it doesn't happen to anyone. It encourages the youth to know everyone has a story and to not judge a book by it's cover. I have heard this book is too explicit because it mentions intercourse and it encourages bullying. It doesn't encourage bullying, it encourages standing up if you see bullying happening. It encourages being brave enough to speak up for what's right. Whether it is child or an adult. Also, it simply mentions sex, it doesn't talk about the act itself and I'm fairly positive if a child is exposed to any advertisement or social media the child already knows what the infamous act is. Also, I think it is healthy to start an open and informative talk with a child about intercourse at young age. Lastly, I feel the way Gary D. Schmidt wrote the book is genius. It isn't written from a 45 year old experienced man, it is written from the perspective of an intelligent and thoughtful sixth grader. It helps connect the young reader with the characters and makes you focus on the story rather than the writing style. Did this book change my life? No. Is it a heart wrenching story that I encourage others to read? Most definitely. Frankly, if you read this book and all you got out of it was the writing style was below par, I feel that reflects more of your character than the books.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Adult Written bylisa.l12 January 9, 2019

My New Favorite Book

Orbiting Jupiter is one of the best books I've ever read. It goes by so quickly because it's not too long and it's so good. Joseph is a thirteen year old boy who is fostered by Jack's parents. Joseph's past has a lot in it. This includes a baby, his baby. He has a child named Jupiter but he lost her. He had to split from the mom of Jupiter and all he has to remember his daughter is a picture he keeps with him at all times. By the end of this book you will be in tears-joy or not.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 10 and 13 year old Written byM. D. September 3, 2017

Very dramatic but not enough educational value

"Orbiting Jupiter" was required reading in my child's 7th grade class. I am not particularly conservative, but felt this book was inappropriate. The situations in the book are very tragic, dramatic modern day problems. They are not something the majority of people ever encounter in one lifetime. The relationship between the two very young teens (one of whom is troubled and becomes a father at 13) is romanticized and portrayed as true love and something positive and even touching. I really had trouble with this aspect of the book and the lesson it may convey. The book is full of various dramatic situations, some related to the foster care system, along with incidents of violence, bullying, and emotional abuse. I feel this is one of those books that is loaded with drama for the sake of drama, but doesn't really work as a meaningful story. Our media (TV shows in particular) started this trend and this level of drama and violence is almost expected now in order to be considered interesting. Teachers use these types of books more and more because it makes them more popular with students. Students will actually finish the book when it has violence and several taboo topics in it. They may even say the book was great and interesting. Personally, I don't think this is great or useful literature. There are better titles out there that encourage deep thought and conversation.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byMBayle March 22, 2017

Tender and True

This story is a present day reflection of what life is really like for kids and will help your own children understand why some kids act out. It positively deals with child abuse, alcohol abuse and even teen pregnancy by showing what happens to kids exposed to these devastating and life altering events. How love overcomes negative experiences to trump all.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bymichael36 November 2, 2016

Great Fun Easy Read

I highly recommend this book. It's definitely my new favorite. Easy, well written read. Pick this book up and read the first two chapters to find yourself finishing it by the end of the day.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Parent of a 15 year old Written byTamara M. September 25, 2016

Fabulous book to discuss with your middle schooler

I read this book to decide if I was going to use it for this year's Global Read Aloud in my 8th grade Enrichment classroom. I was prepared to choose another title just because the main character was a teenage father; I'm so glad I read it for myself. It is not a book with a fluffy HOA, but will certainly lead to thoughtful discussions. This book is about love, relationships, and consequences. It is also about being understanding of those who have made mistakes, and helping them overcome them. Other reviewers have mentioned the domestic violence, but by the age of the intended reader, whether it's part of their life or someone's they know, it won't be a surprise. Finally, there is no graphic sex. In fact, some less-savvy readers might miss when, exactly, the pregnancy occurred. I am a cautious parent and teacher, and I am looking forward to the discussions I can lead and have with my students (and daughter) as we read this novel together.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byMomma Adamson September 13, 2016

A Poorly Written Tragedy

I was asked to review this for a global book club by my co worker to see if it was appropriate for middle school. It's not all that well written but the topics are more mature and more suited for older middle schoolers (8th grade and up) Why does anyone think a young adult (whether in high school or middle school) would want to read this? Leave the tragedies to Shakespeare and other good writers and find something more uplifting for our youth. While there is no swearing or sex, 13 year-olds become parents. There's violence, a gun, for sure, and lots of bullying. A lot of the scenarios are forced as I don't think much of the decisions and outcomes are rooted in reality in modern day America - even if it is a small town in Maine. Don't bother. Find something fun for your kid to read and encourage their teachers to do so. There's enough tragedy in the world just watching the news everyday.