- Golden Kite Award
- Great Lakes Great Reads Award
- Kids’ Indie Next Pick
- Junior Library Guild selection
- Amazon Best Children’s Books of 2017
See You in the Cosmos is my first novel for young readers. It’s about an eleven-year-old boy name Alex who’s trying to launch his iPod into space. But it’s also about road trips, families, and finding love and truth and courage in the universe. And there’s a dog named Carl Sagan. The entire book is told through the recordings that Alex is making on his iPod.
The book was published jointly in the spring of 2017 by Dial Books for Young Readers (US) and Puffin (UK). It’s available now in translation from other publishers in over thirty countries. Out of all the things that early readers have said about the book, this, from Gary D. Schmidt, author of National Book Award finalist Okay for Now, is one of my favorites:
It is not always that we read a novel that so powerfully affirms our human capacity for grace and love and understanding; we need this book for the ways in which it gives us more to be human beings with.
Tools for being human! I really like that.
If you’re interested in a how See You in the Cosmos became a published book, you’re in luck. I made a podcast about its making, in which I interviewed many of the people involved in the process.
The audiobook has an ensemble cast and full sound design – it’s an experience. And it’s racked up some awards of its own, including …
- 2018 Audie Award Winner: Middle Grade
- Audible Best Kids Audiobook of 2017 - Finalist
- 2017 Booklist Editors' Choice: Audios for Youth
- 2018 ALSC Notable Children’s Recording
- 2018 YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
Here’s a snippet:
Commonly Asked Questions
Here are some questions I often get asked about the book. If you have any others, don’t hesitate email me. Even if you’d just like to share your experience reading the book, I’d be thrilled to hear from you. I especially love hearing from young readers (just be sure to contact me through a parent, teacher, or other adult).
What inspired you to write the book?
Here’s what I said in an interview on the blog of the Michigan chapter of SCBWI (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators):
I had the idea for the story when I was back at my parents’ house over Thanksgiving, in 2012. I was hanging out in my younger brother’s room and saw that he had a copy of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, and remembered an episode of the NPR show Radiolab that I’d heard years before, in which Sagan’s widow Ann Druyan talked about how the two fell in love as they worked to gather sounds for the Voyager Golden Record. When I woke up the next morning, the basic premise just popped into my head: A boy and his dog; an iPod bound for space.
Will there be a sequel?
I’m not currently working on one, but maybe in the future. I do, however, have a new, unrelated book that came out in June of 2023. It’s called The Many Masks of Andy Zhou.
Is there going to be a movie? I hope there’s a movie.
I hope so too! I’ve been talking to producers and directors about it but that’s still a long ways from it being a movie you can watch. If you work in film/television and are interested in rights, please contact my film agent, Mary Pender.
Do you do author visits?
Yup, including virtual visits. Educators and event organizers can check out this page for information about my current programs.
Do you have a dog?
I do. You can see a picture of him on my About page.