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.
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.
Schmidt provokes tears, despite his underplayed prose, with a tone and directness reminiscent of John Steinbeck.
Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week
A deeply affecting story of love and loss that sympathetically reflects the intensity of adolescence.
Schmidt writes with an elegant simplicity in this paean to the power of love
Kirkus, starred review
A YA novella about love and friendship and loyalty… be prepared to be moved
Telegraph, The best young adult books of 2016
Beautiful, tragic and heartbreaking
Guardian, The Best New Children's Books
Schmidt uses beautifully sparse language to tell a big story… This is a punchy and emotional book which will draw you in then spit you out crying at the end.
Tender and deeply moving… This will stay with you long after you have read the final page
The Bookseller, Bookseller's Choice
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
In his welcome style of brief beautiful breaths, Gary Schmidt has crafted another moving story
A powerful story about second chances.
Publishers Weekly, starred review
This is Schmidt at his most heartbreaking
The poetic, uncluttered prose of this short beautiful novel resonates for a long time.
Gary has done it again … a finely crafted book, honest, and above all a story aboutgoodness as well as evil
This beautifully written and utterly compulsive book will have many a reader in tears.
The Bookseller, Bookseller's Choice
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.
Orbiting Jupiter will wring every ounce of feeling it can from you… A shining example of where YA fiction can succeed, and it does so magnificently.
One of the most moving, profound and well crafted young people’s novels that I have ever had the privilege of reviewing
The School Librarian
Gary D. Schmidt has written this highly-thoughtful, compelling page-turner with a deceptive simplicity… Despite the unintended yet tragic consequences, it reaffirms the power of love when labels are set aside for humanity and acceptance.
The simple style is very effective at conveying high emotion… Quality teen fare.
Such a brilliant, well written and beautiful book.
Bethan Woollvin, author and illustrator
Beautiful, sad, haunting… An emotional ride but one you’ll still be thinking of long after you’ve closed the book.
This is one of those books that creeps up on you and steals your heart.
This is a phenomenal book. One of the best-crafted, most heartrending novels I’ve read this year… the prose is stark, impeccable, faultless.
I smiled, I shed tears and I felt so much love for these characters… Simplistic and beautiful.
Tales of Yesterday blog
Orbiting Jupiter is a beautiful and sad story about friendship, love and family, and at under two hundred pages, it packs a powerful emotional punch.
So Many Books, So Little Time blog