Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Boyce, Frank Cottrell. 2010. COSMIC. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780061836831 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-8]
Liam is an extremely tall twelve-year-old who looks like a grown man-- he even has whiskers. Incredibly smart, but isolated by his height, Liam has no friends and spends his spare time playing World of Warcraft online which serves him well later in the novel. Liam is bummed about his height, but has a fully developed sense of humor that often gets him into trouble and a natural curiosity that can’t be contained. He also has a mobile phone so that his father can keep track of him which allows for his narration.
The novel opens with Liam confessing into an “audio-diary” that he’s lied a lot and now he’s lost in space in a rocket that launched from China. Readers are hooked from the very first page. His introspective tone is poignant because he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get back to earth to see his parents. He tells us anecdotes about how he has been confused for an adult, how he used to pretend to be his friend’s father, and how he began to think about what fatherhood means. At one point, he is asked what his parenting philosophy is and he responds that “I want my children to think of the whole world as their thrill ride.” It is this insight that gets him the rocket gig.
Even though Liam is a gentle giant, there is plenty of action and humorous high jinks to satisfy even the pickiest readers-- both adults and children.
Invite children to compare friends “that can be seen” with online friends. List pros and cons of those relationships.
Other books by the same author:
By Cay Geisler