Book Review: Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt

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            Orbiting Jupiter is a novel written by Gary Schmidt and is published in 2015. Written in 12-year-old Jack’s point of view, the story revolves around the 14-year-old Joseph Brook who at an early age became a father to a 3 month old baby girl named Jupiter. The novel is a heartbreaking depiction of how a boy, at 14, could contain such a strong love for his own child.

            One day, Jack, the narrator of the story, was told by his parents that he was going to have a foster brother. But his brother-to-be was unlike any other kid in the block because he, himself, had a daughter. As it turned out, Joseph really had a kid of his own. But the heartbreaking part was that, he was not permitted by law to see her. Worse, everybody in his life wanted him to forget her.

            When Jack saw Joseph, he really was different from the other 14-year-olds he knew.  Aside from the fact that he had a kid, he didn’t talk that much –if he ever did talk at all. He had a really long scar starting from his arms going down to his knees, he didn’t like people touching him, and he nearly killed one of his teachers.

            In spite of all these, Jack didn’t judge Joseph for the kind of life he couldn’t control but instead focused on the one thing good that he could see about him –the cows in their barn liked Joseph. Seemingly, you can tell much of people’s character by how cows behave around them.

            The story foretells of Joseph’s struggles and efforts to see his child. And of how a friendship could grow to brotherhood.

            The book is written to remind all of us that all kinds of love, even parental love, do not have any restrictions. A father is a father even though he is still 14 as what the book is trying to imply. Joseph’s age do not amount the kind of love he could give to his daughter. Orbiting Jupiter is a heartbreaking tale that is so worth the read.

All in all, the book tells of a story unlike any other. I can guarantee that it is definitely going to be worth your time and tears.


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