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About the book
  • Published: 7 January 2016
  • ISBN: 9781448188208
  • Imprint: Andersen Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

Orbiting Jupiter

Formats & editions

Longlsited for the Carnegie Medal. This is the heartbreaking story of fourteen-year-old Joseph. Misunderstood, all he wants is to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen.

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.

  • Pub date: 7 January 2016
  • ISBN: 9781448188208
  • Imprint: Andersen Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

About the Author

Gary D. Schmidt

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.

Praise for Orbiting Jupiter

“One of the most beautiful books I have ever read”

Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places

“Schmidt provokes tears, despite his underplayed prose, with a tone and directness reminiscent of John Steinbeck.”

Nicolette Jones, Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week

“A deeply affecting story of love and loss that sympathetically reflects the intensity of adolescence.”

Julia Eccleshare, Guardian

“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”

Martin Chilton, 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”

Vanessa Lewis, 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”

Collete Morgan, Wild Rumpus

“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”

Best Books of 2015, Publishers Weekly

“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 about goodness as well as evil”

Kids Ink

“This beautifully written and utterly compulsive book will have many a reader in tears.”

Marilyn Brocklehurst, 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.”

Joanne Owen, Lovereading4Kids

“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.”

The Bookbag

“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.”

Peters Books

“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.”

Serendipity Reviews

“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

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