Author(s): Jack Cheng
A space-obsessed boy and his dog, Carl Sagan, take a journey toward family, love, hope, and awe in this funny and moving novel for fans of Counting by 7s and Walk Two Moons.
11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan--named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he'll uncover--from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.
For fans of Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Jack Cheng's debut is full of joy, optimism, determination, and unbelievable heart. To read the first page is to fall in love with Alex and his view of our big, beautiful, complicated world. To read the last is to know he and his story will stay with you a long, long time.
Read by Kivlighan de Montebello and a full cast, including Brittany Pressley (as Terra), Graham Halstead (as Steve), Michael Crouch (as Ronnie), and Jason Culp (as Zed). Additional narration provided by Therese Plummer, Susan Bennett, Dan Bittner, Pete Larkin, and Courtney Shaw.
2018 Audie Award Winner: Middle Grade
Audible Best Kids Audiobook of 2017 - Finalist
2017 Booklist Editors' Choice: Audios for Youth
2018 ALSC Notable Children's Recording
2018 YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
"The premise of the book--a story told through audio recordings--is a natural fit for an audiobook, and the narrators hit it out of the park."--Booklist, starred review
"Kivlighan de Montebello's engaging young voice embodies 11-year-old Alex Petroski...an altogether captivating listening experience."--AudioFile Earphones Award
I love this book-the characters, the story, but most of all, the voice that writer Jack Cheng has created. It's the best I've read in a long, long, long time. -- Holly Goldberg Sloan, bestselling author of COUNTING BY 7'S Alex Petroski has a big mind, big dreams, and a big heart. His story is full of the real kind of magic-friends well-met, surprising journeys, and heartbreak and hope. This is a beautiful book. -- Ally Condie, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller MATHCED It is not always that we read a novel that so powerfully affirms our human capacity for grace and love and understanding; we need this book for the ways in which it gives us more to be human beings with. And it gives us Alex, whose face is turned to the stars. -- Gary D. Schmidt, author of National Book Award finalist OKAY FOR NOW
Jack Cheng was born in Shanghai and grew up in Michigan. He spent nearly a decade in New York, working in advertising and tech. He lives in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @jackcheng.