Cosmic

Cosmic

4.4 43
by Frank Cottrell Boyce
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Liam has always felt a bit like he's stuck between two worlds. This isprimarily 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

See more details below

Overview

Liam has always felt a bit like he's stuck between two worlds. This isprimarily 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.

Frank Cottrell Boyce, author of Millions and Framed, brings us a funny and touching story of the many ways in which grown-upness is truly wasted on grown-ups.

Editorial Reviews

Mary Quattlebaum
…hilariously inventive…As with his acclaimed Millions, author Frank Cottrell Boyce makes you laugh and think about parents and growing up, about the goodness of gravity and the infinite stars.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The hero of Boyce’s enchanting third novel has grown a bit over the summer. “Seven inches is not a spurt,” his father says. “Seven inches is a mutation.” Having facial hair and the height of an adult is a nuisance for 12-year-old Liam, until he realizes he can pass for a grownup. The charade escalates into danger when Liam passes himself off as his own father and wins a trip to a new theme park in China with his friend Florida, where they will be the first to experience an out-of-this-world new thrill ride. “The Rocket” turns out to be a real rocket, and the novel opens with Liam and four other kids literally lost in space. What follows is a hilarious and heartfelt examination of “dadliness” in all its forms, including idiotic competitiveness and sports chatter, but also genuine care and concern. Luckily for the errant space cadets, Liam possesses skills honed playing World of Warcraft online—yes, here is a novel, finally, that confirms that playing computer games can be good for you. A can’t-miss offering from an author whose latest novel may be his best yet. Ages 8–12. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Although Liam Digby is a typical kid who loves World of Warcraft video games and theme-park rides, his physical appearance is closer to age 30 than 12. Looking like an adult is challenging, but it can be useful. He learns about an experimental project to create the ultimate thrill ride—sending a select group of kids into space. He figures that he has no chance to be one of the chosen youngsters, so he decides to apply as the in-flight father chaperone. After recruiting his friend Florida to pose as his daughter, Liam has to compete with three other candidates to get the job. Although he has brushed up on his "dad skills," it isn't always easy to stay in character. The men are pompous, boring—and not above cheating to get ahead. Meanwhile, Florida has very firm notions of how her "dad" ought to behave and she isn't sure that Liam measures up. Eventually, the project director selects Liam for the space flight, precisely because of his "childlike quality," and the project kids start to look to him as a father figure—even Florida. Then, when an accident sends the rocket out of control, Liam has to assume the adult responsibility of getting them all back safely. Beneath the entertaining science-fiction adventure is a strong theme of individual maturity. While the real grown-ups are self-centered and childish, Liam takes charge with surprisingly mature courage. Readers will appreciate the sharp, realistic, and very funny dialogue as well as Liam's technique of solving real-world problems using his role-playing-game expertise.—Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Twelve-year-old Liam Digby is Completely Doomed. He's lost in outer space, incommunicado, in a Chinese spacecraft called Infinite Possibility. To further complicate matters, he's an imposter: a tall-for-his-age kid with premature facial hair pretending to be a dad so he could participate in the secret civilian space flight in the first place-a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-style contest in which the winning children get to go on the ultimate thrill ride, an actual rocket. The good news is, the view is amazing: "When you're in it, space looks like the biggest firework display ever-except it's on pause . . . . Even if you're Completely Doomed, you've got to be impressed." On the heels of the Carnegie Medal-winning Millions (2004) and Framed (2006), Cottrell Boyce has created a riveting, affecting, sometimes snortingly funny "what-if" scenario that illuminates the realities of space travel as it thoughtfully examines the nature of adulthood. Liam's musings on what it takes to be a good, responsible father are dryly comical but also charmingly earnest. A high-levity zero-gravity romp. (Science fiction. 10-14)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
A story of human possibility with a lot of adventure, or an adventure with full credit given to human possibility? Either way, it’s a fantastic, funny, and moving novel....Celebrates not only the spirit of exploration but the human connectedness that allows it to flower.
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“Stunningly original…the concept is immediately booktalkable and the telling is riveting; a book of such wealth—of any kind—is valuable indeed.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review of Millions
Booklist
In his latest extravagantly imaginative and marvelously good-natured novel, [Frank Cottrell Boyce has] written one that is bound to win readers’ hearts...This is not only a story about big lads, but also about dads and dadliness!
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Stunningly original…the concept is immediately booktalkable and the telling is riveting; a book of such wealth—of any kind—is valuable indeed." — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review of Millions
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“A story of human possibility with a lot of adventure, or an adventure with full credit given to human possibility? Either way, it’s a fantastic, funny, and moving novel. Celebrates not only the spirit of exploration but the human connectedness that allows it to flower.”
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
This superb humorous and inventive “cosmic” adventure celebrated space travel, friendships, and dads.
Washington Post
“Hilariously inventive. Frank Cottrell Boyce makes you laugh and think about parents and growing up, about the goodness of gravity and the infinite stars.”
New York Times Book Review
“With echoes of Roald Dahl . . . the novel ends with an elegant punch line, and a touching endorsement of filial love.”
The Guardian
“His third novel, and his best yet. Hugely funny and utterly gripping.”
London Times
“Cottrell Boyce has a gift for suspending disbelief, for laugh-out-loud comedy. “Cosmic” is Liam’s favorite term of approval. It applies to this book.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
A story of human possibility with a lot of adventure, or an adventure with full credit given to human possibility? Either way, it’s a fantastic, funny, and moving novel....Celebrates not only the spirit of exploration but the human connectedness that allows it to flower.
Booklist (starred review)
“In his latest extravagantly imaginative and marvelously good-natured novel, [Frank Cottrell Boyce has] written one that is bound to win readers’ hearts. This is not only a story about big lads, but also about dads and dadliness!”
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
From screenwriter and Carnegie Medal-winner Frank Boyce comes this beguiling tale of twelve-year-old Liam Digby who is so tall he is often mistaken for an adult, frustrating for both him and his parents. After some mad adventures pretending to be schoolmate Florida's father, Liam wins a special theme-park trip for fathers and children; he and Florida elude their parents and take off for China. The other winners are three controlling fathers, each stealing his son's childhood in pursuit of money, success, or fame. Liam can only model himself on his own earnest taxi-driver father—neither rich nor successful—and study his dad's self-help manual, Talk to Your Teen. When the prize turns out to be a rocket trip into space for kids only, Liam manages to get aboard as the "responsible adult" and finds himself desperately trying to be "dadly," while helping the other boys reclaim their childhoods and saving their lives. Florida has her own dad issues, but the novel is about boys and men; women are strictly marginal, from Liam's cautious, adventure-quashing mother to brilliant but ruthless Dr. Drax, a theme-park developer who cloned her own perfect, robot-like daughter. This touching, often-funny tale offers much to ponder, much to discuss—including parallels to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—and much to savor such as its engaging hero, his sense of wonder at the universe, an exciting, even harrowing space adventure, and the steady, caring, real father whose gravity draws Liam home. Cosmic! Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
VOYA - Hilary Crew
Liam, almost thirteen, is tall enough to be mistaken for a grown-up, especially when he sprouts facial hair. His ability to pass for much older leads to some hilarious episodes, some with his friend Florida who poses as his "princess" daughter. Their relationship—as they switch from friends to impersonating father and teenage daughter—is beautifully captured by Boyce. But when Liam receives a text message that he has been selected as a dad for the "Biggest Thrill Ride in the History of the World," he faces his biggest challenge yet. Taking Florida with him, he flies to China where he meets the other contestants—three ambitious fathers and their talented sons. Liam proves that he has the qualities to accompany the children on the "Rocket" into space despite being scorned by the other dads as "childish." He has, he is told, the right attitude because he is ready to learn. Boyce brilliantly captures Liam's voice as he switches from a teen delighting, for example, in the sheer fun of being weightless (he feels like a "Power Ranger") to being the "Responsible Adult." Liam uses skills gained from playing Warcraft and Orbiter IV to guide the rocket back to earth when things go awry. His sense of awe and danger when he spacewalks and his crew's joyride to the moon on a solar-powered ship that looks like an "ice-cream van" are paralleled with fascinating facts about astronauts and the science of space travel. This superb humorous and inventive "cosmic" adventure celebrates space travel, friendships, and dads. Reviewer: Hilary Crew

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061998348
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/19/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
252,219
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >