Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
New York: Walden Pond Press, 2010
4.5 out of 5
Liam has always felt a bit like he's stuck between two worlds. This is primarily because he's a twelve-year-old kid who looks like he's about thirty. Sometimes it's not so bad, like when his new principal mistakes him for a teacher on the first day of school or when he convinces a car dealer to let him take a Porsche out on a test drive. But mostly it's just frustrating, being a kid trapped in an adult world. And so he decides to flip things around. Liam cons his way onto the first spaceship to take civilians into space, a special flight for a group of kids and an adult chaperone, and he is going as the adult chaperone. It's not long before Liam, along with his friends, is stuck between two worlds again--only this time he's 239,000 miles from home.
I loved this book! The tone is lighthearted and humorous and Liam is quite charming. Any kid who has ever dreamed of being an astronaut will get a kick out of Liam and Florida's adventure. (Yes, Florida. But this is one instance where interestingly named characters actually add to the quirkiness and warmth of the story instead of being different simply to be different.)
Reading the description and even the first bit of the novel it's easy to view this is a silly tale about something that could never really happen. And that may be true, but there is much more to this story than meets the eye. Yes, Liam tries to be a typical kid but is often mistaken for an adult. As a result he finds himself in sticky situations. Often, however, his dad manages to step in, usually in the nick of time. The relationships within this novel are what make it great. Liam and his father. Florida and Liam. Liam and the children he chaperones. There is something to be gained, by both parties, that ends in heart-warming revelations and understanding.
I highly recommend this novel.
Disclosure: I borrowed this ebook from my local library.