Book Recommendation: See You in The Cosmos

-Nevedetha Swaminathan, II Year B.Com (A&F)

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”
– Ann Landers

A book that really changed my outlook on friendship was ‘See you in the Cosmos’ by Jack Cheng. I was amazed at how much an 11-year-old boy could accomplish at such a young age. Coming from a family with a deceased father, schizophrenic mother and a workaholic older brother, Alex Petroski had only one source of comfort – his dog Carl Sagan. He had a dream of launching his iPod into space with recordings about Earth for aliens. He goes to New Mexico for an event called SHARF and makes new friends called Zed and Steve. After unsuccessfully launching his rocket, he wants to return home, but a message about his dead father directs him to Las Vegas. There, his dog goes missing and he is further dejected. He approaches someone called Terra, who is actually his half sister. Zed, Steve and Terra help Alex look for Carl Sagan, who is soon found. In the process of looking for Carl Sagan, Zed breaks his vow of silence to comfort an upset Alex and a usually impatient Steve learns to be a little bit more patient with him.

When Alex goes back home, he climbs his roof to look at the stars, but has a terrible accident and ends up in the hospital. His friends look after him tirelessly until he is well, but soon come to know that his schizophrenic mother has also been taken to a rehabilitation centre. They guide him through it and help him forge a stronger relationship with his brother. Alex, in the end, understands that he has achieved a lot more than he hoped for. In spite of not being able to launch his rocket into space, he was able to develop a strong friendship with those who really cared for him, even animals, and supported him through his highs and lows.

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