Published: October 6, 2015
The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending a harrowing time in a juvenile facility, Joesph, who is now fourteen, is placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets twelve-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. When Joseph has begun to believe he’ll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice.
In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires.
I won this book through a give-away on GoodReads and it arrived this past Monday. As soon as I opened to the first page I knew I HAD to finished it in one sitting.
Joseph’s mother is dead and his father is abusive and he gets into trouble through no real fault of his own. Just a moment of poor judgement and his life is changed forever. He has gotten a girl pregnant and she died in childbirth and the baby daughter,Jupiter, is given up for adoption.
He is sexually abused in a juvenile prison and when he gets out he goes to stay with a foster family on a farm in Maine where he learns, among other things to milk cows and finds he really enjoys it. No matter what any day brings finding Jupiter is always on his mind.
Jack, who is twelve, likes Joseph and feels protective of him and when kids at school bully him or give him trouble on the bus, Jack is there to “have his back”.
I won’t tell you if Joseph finds his daughter or how the book ends but it is a heart wrenching tear jerker and I dare anyone to read this book and NOT shed a tear. (It is a very short book and I HIGHLY recommend it)
It is a story that will stay with me forever.
Five stars *****