- Annie Brulatour
Alex Petroski is 11 years old—but at least 13 years old in responsibility years. He has a hero: astronomer Carl Sagan, a dog: golden retriever Carl Sagan, and a plan: launch a rocket carrying a Golden iPod full of his own commentary into outer space for aliens to listen to and enjoy. Jack Cheng's debut novel, See You In the Cosmos, is the transcript of these live recordings, as Alex packs up his rocket and Carl Sagan the Dog and heads to the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival.
He occasionally checks in with his mom, who has good days and bad days and hopefully is eating the food he put in Tupperware for her before he left, and his older brother, who is an agent in LA, which helps pay bills and buy groceries.
After a malfunction with his rocket, Alex plans to go home and get back to his regular life. But a startling revelation regarding the whereabouts of his long absent father inspires Alex to take a detour, leaving Arizona and heading towards Las Vegas. He and Carl Sagan are able to travel with fellow rocket enthusiasts—a short, bald, and silent motivational speaker and a struggling energy drink salesman. As they head west, Alex discovers friends that are like family, friends that are actually family, and overwhelming secrets that tie them all together.
Readers of all ages will connect to Alex’s optimism, determination, and genuine desire to connect with everyone he meets—on this planet and beyond.