See You in the Cosmos

See You in the Cosmos

Book - 2017
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"Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski, along with his dog, Carl Sagan, makes big discoveries about his family on a road trip and he records it all on a golden iPod he intends to launch into space"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Dial Books for Young Readers, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780399186370
Branch Call Number: J FICTION CHENG
Characteristics: 314 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski, along with his dog, Carl Sagan, makes big discoveries about his family on a road trip and he records it all on a golden iPod he intends to launch into space.

From the critics

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Aug 31, 2020


Jul 28, 2020

This was an amazing book about reaching for your dreams when life gets in the way. This book takes you on an emotional journey along with the main character Alex. The cast of characters pull you into the story and at times make you dislike them. Alex is eleven and is working on his dream of launching his golden Ipad into space in a homemade rocket. His journey at times is heartbreaking, however he also has wonderful experiences along the way. This story is messy and doesn't come to a clean ending. It is worth the read and it is an easy read. I recommend this book to anyone 6th grade and older.

CCCL_KathrynB Dec 19, 2019

This heartbreakingly honest, refreshingly pure story is told by Alex Petroski (11 years old but at least 13 in responsibility years) who records his thoughts and daily experiences as he embarks on a journey across the country. Alex loves space, rockets, his mom, and his best friend/puppy Carl Sagan--named after the real-life astronomer who is also Alex's personal hero. Throughout his extended road trip, his destination changes as he befriends a number of quirky characters and learns secrets about his family.
This book was absolutely astounding. Astronomical. Too spacey? I'll try to hold myself back...
It's written as a collection of Alex's recordings, but the purely narrative structure still manages to evoke an extremely genuine voice and a stunning range of emotion.
I recommend this book to readers of any age. Adults and young adults alike will be enthralled just as much as the middle-grade audience it was written for.

BPLpicks Aug 13, 2019

Alex Petroski is eleven years old and eight months. He lives with his Mom and beloved dog, Carl Sagan; named for after his hero, the real-life astronomer. Alex is obsessed with space and rockets and wants to launch his golden IPOD into space in order to communicate with other worlds. On the way to a rocket launching festival in New Mexico, Alex’s journey takes him to unexpected destinations. He meets new friends and discovers more information about his long-deceased father. Alex is a sweet, intelligent, inventive young boy whose musings lead the reader into a life that is filled with wonder, humour, sadness and love. The audio version is perfection with its well-chosen narrator of Kivlighan de Montebello as Alex.

Dec 25, 2018

The book was a great adventure and really openminded, it had problems that some of us might face and shows the friendship between the characters personally this is my new favorite book!

Oct 13, 2018

The book was originally titled "See You In The Cosmos, Carl Sagan", but Ann Druyan, (Sagan's widow), pressured Chang's publisher to remove Carl's name. While hucksters pawn unlicensed Sagan swag on Zazzle, Ebay, Etsy,etc., Ann seems to want to exert control over these kinds of love letters to Carl. It's like John Boswell's "Symphony of Science" situation.

Anyway, the story is about a bright 11 year old who is inspired by Carl Sagan. His home life is a mess, with (we later learn) a mentally ill mother unable to care for him properly. Through the internet, Alex encounters other science and space exploration enthusiasts, who, upon learning he's just a child, feel obliged to help him and his dog, who is named after Carl Sagan (and there are many animals and people named after him in the real world).

The story fires on all thrusters but for one section where Carl Sagan (the dog) is lost. The adults and Alex really don't seem to put in the kind of effort they should have put into finding Carl Sagan. This is especially surprising in the case of the vegetarian character.

I prefer not to say much else for revealing too much of the story. It's will get you in the feels, whether you're 11 or a crusty old curmudgeon like me. You'll even learn a bit about what made Carl Sagan such legendary big thinker (although you might need to read "Carl Sagan - A Life in the Cosmos" by William Poundstone to start).

Along the way, with any luck, you'll be inspired to watch the original 1980 COSMOS by Carl Sagan (sans commercials of course). It's truly horrific that many libraries lack a DVD copy of COSMOS (the 2014 reboot isn't that bad, but it lacks Carl Sagan). Luckily, if you search carefully, you can find the original nearly-hour long episodes on Vimeo or youtube.

I have little doubt that this book will be cherished by the Sagan grandchildren.

Jul 11, 2018

a great book with a deep meaning and lots of great characters and twists

ArapahoeKati Jun 08, 2018

Love podcasts, astronomy and brave kids? 11-year-old Alex records his quest--and side trips--as he tries to launch his golden iPod into space. A delight to listen to with a full cast of characters!

JCLChrisK Feb 13, 2018

Quirky narrator Alex is intelligent, knowledgeable, obsessive, enthusiastic, and self-sufficient. He's also naive, socially awkward, unguarded, and unworldly. Thankfully, he's incredibly endearing--to both other characters in the book and to readers.

Alex's main obsession is astronomy, and his goal is to launch an updated version of the Golden Record NASA sent into space in the 70s to introduce extraterrestrial life to planet earth and humanity. This book is composed of his recordings on his Golden iPod. He chronicles his journey to a gathering of rocket hobbyists for an attempted ascent. Many strangers help him along the way, including two who agree to take him from the festival to Las Vegas on a quest to search for his missing father. His travel takes many unexpected turns to many unexpected destinations, constantly aided by those he meets along the way. By the end of his odyssey, Alex has learned more than he ever expected about himself, his family, and his ever-growing group of friends.

Alex's optimistic spirit is infectious and makes him a wonderful storyteller of this unusual and enjoyable tale.

JCLKariE Feb 06, 2018

Eleven-year-old Alex is recording sounds from life on Earth onto his golden iPod which he’s launching into space aboard his rocket, the Voyager 3, at the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival in New Mexico. These recordings make up the story which adds an interesting storytelling technique to the story.
Alex makes food for his mom, packs his things, prints his Amtrack tickets and sets off for SHARF. Alex's mom has a lot of quiet days and takes long walks so she won't mind that he's gone for a few days. The train ride is the start of a great trip with his dog, Carl Sagen, named after his personal hero and creator of the golden records. During his trip he makes new friends and learns about his family.
Alex is hilarious, obsessed with space, and loves astronomy jokes. The explanations of common sayings and human emotions make this novel outstanding. I loved this story. Fans of Wonder will enjoy See You in the Cosmos.

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Add Age Suitability
Jul 16, 2020

blue_dog_24050 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jul 01, 2020

maroon_hawk_88 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Feb 12, 2018

gjrainey thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Apr 30, 2017

white_spider_36 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


Add a Summary
Dec 25, 2018

This story is about a kid named Alex who loves astronomy! His hero is Carl Sagan and inspires to launch his rocket, the Voyager 3. Along the way at the expo (to launch his rocket) he meets 2 new people, Steve and Zed. The 3 eventually have a unexpected road trip to Las Vegas where they meet Alex's half sister, Terra. Terra was about 19 and came along with the 3 boys to another road trip to LA But before that they have to go on a search to find Carl Sagan (Alex's dog) who dissapeared while Steve, Zed and Alex didn't pay attention and lost him. Oonce they reached LA Alex calls his brother Ronnie but he isn't home and in detroit so Terra and Alex stayed with the boy. There we meet Nathan. Suddenly Terra and Steve end in a fight and Terra and Alex leave and stay at a hotel. ( NOW i am not going to summarize the end so go read the book!!)


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