Schmidt, G. (2015). Orbiting Jupiter. New York: Clarion Books.
Orbiting Jupiter centers around the story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time at Stone Mountain, a juvenile facility, he’s placed with a family on a working farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph meets twelve-year-old Jackson who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this heartbreaking novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family.
Character, Setting, and Theme-
Orbiting Jupiter centers around the story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. He is a complicated character who struggles with understanding death and the life of his daughter. He is in constant abeyance between his abusive father and his new life on the farm. The setting of this story is very important in the sense of the realistic elements and in the sense of how weather affects the plot of the story. The serenity of the farm is in contrast with horror that Joseph experienced at Stone Mountain. The cold weather of the northern United States is also extremely relevant to the struggle and eventual death of Joseph and his father. Lastly, the underlying theme of family is essential to the plot of the story. Joseph struggles to understand his place as Jupiter’s father, as his father’s son, and his place as Jack’s brother. By the end, he sacrifices his own life for Jackson which shows his transformation as a member of the family.