Member Reviews

Jupiter Rising is an incredible sequel, but could also easily be read as a stand alone novel. You are with Jack as he navigates the uncertainty surrounding Jupiter's adoption and the feelings that surface regarding his promise to Joseph. The relationship with Jay Perkins is authentic and the reader can see the hesitation and distrust between the two boys that, through the shared experience of running and a shared loved of Jupiter, develops into a solid friendship.

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I'm not sure I'd have believed this was a YA book had I not been told up front. A poignant read which gave me lots of feels. I very much enjoyed "seeing" life from Jack's POV. His budding friendship with Jay was sweet, especially once it clicked with me that they were legitimately related. A beautiful read overall.

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Schmidt has created another beautifully written book like those we have come to expect from him. This title, a companion to the masterful Orbiting Jupiter, can be read as a standalone, but when coupled with the first, is especially meaningful. No character is quite what they seem on the surface, except maybe the delightful titular Jupiter. Peeling back poignant layer after layer makes this, like it’s companion book, not easily or soon forgotten.

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You never know what you might get in a sequel to an amazing book, but I've found with Gary D. Schmidt, it will always be great. Jupiter Rising picks up a few years after Orbiting Jupiter, with the family fighting to keep Jupiter with them. It is an excellent sequel and could be read as a stand-alone as well.

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This book is a heartfelt and heartbreaking follow-up to Orbiting Jupiter.
Schmidt expertly transports us back into the world of the book and the strained family dynamics.
I started crying in the first chapter--and just didn't stop--and that's a good thing.

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As with so many other Gary D. Schmidt fans, I have long hoped for this book, craving more of Jack and Jupiter's stories. When I saw it on NetGalley (thank you, NetGalley and HarperCollins!), I could not believe my good fortune! And yet, it took me a few weeks to actually start it because I couldn't stand the thought of 1) finishing it and possibly having to say goodbye to the characters again, possibly forever because 2) Mr. Schmidt has a bad habit of killing off my favorite characters. (No spoiler alert here, by the way. I will NOT tell you how it ends!) I sat down on a Sunday afternoon when I knew I wouldn't be interrupted and finished it within two hours. What an amazing journey it took me on!

Jupiter Rising is the next book in what I recently heard Mr. Schmidt say at a conference will most likely be a trilogy. It began with Orbiting Jupiter in 2015, and I'm sure everyone else had begun to think there would never be a follow up story. Mr. Schmidt stated that it might very well take him as many years to write a third one, so I'm telling myself to just be patient for now. While Orbiting Jupiter was Jack and Joseph's story, Jupiter Rising is Jack and Jupiter's story. At the end of Orbiting Jupiter, we find that the Hurds (Jack's family) are going to be a foster family for Jupiter. Jack is determined that he will always know where Jupiter is, and that's his promise to her and Joseph. This sets up the perfect plot line in Jupiter Rising, where Jupiter's grandparents have decided they want to adopt her. They have not been a part of her life up till this point (the Hurd family has been raising her for more than a year when this story starts), and the thought that he might not be able to keep his promise is inconceivable to Jack. To make Jack's life even more complicated, Coach Swieteck has decided Jack would be a great long distance runner, and he's teamed him up with his least favorite classmate/bully.

This book does just what Gary D. Schmidt fans expect: it puts you through the wringer and back, emotionally. It is as well-written as I expected, and while I'd love another book that tells more of the story, I can be content with this one if that doesn't happen. While I still have questions I want to know the answer to (maybe Jupiter's mom's story?), Mr. Schmidt has done enough here to satisfy me. I strongly believe other readers will feel the same.

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This book is as good os Orbiting Jupiter. I love the character development and all the feelings I got while reading this book. Teenagers can relate to this story.

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P.E. Coach Swieteck pairs Jack and Jay together to help Jack become a cross-country runner. After fighting Jay Perkins in Orbiting Jupiter, Jack is surprised to find a friendship slowly developing with Jay. He is most surprised at the tenderness Jay shows toward Jack's sister, Jupiter. Readers hope Joseph's heart-wrenching story from Orbiting Jupiter somehow finds a happy ending for his daughter in this companion book. Jupiter Rising does that until Jupiter's grandparents decide they want custody and mess up the Hurd's family plans to adopt Jupiter. The decision on what is best for Jupiter lies with the courts.

The connection between Jay and Jupiter provides insight into Jay's turmoil and anger involving Joseph. In one of my favorite aspects of Schmidt's books, the teachers offer the right mixture of tough love and support that would do any school proud. Through Coach Swieteck's gruff direction, Jack will be offering guidance to someone in need just as Jay has extended to him. The author crafts a story full of emotion and tenderness. I would not skip reading Orbiting Jupiter, as the aching beauty of that story should be appreciated before finding out how Jupiter's story continues.

Thanks to HarperCollins Children's Books/Clarion, Gary D. Schmidt and NetGalley for this ARC.

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So, the students in my library regularly check out Orbiting Jupiter, because it is widely known as the saddest book in the school. They like to cry. This sequel does not disappoint. In fact--confession time--I read the first chapter and the last chapter and noped out. It's going to be a must buy for my fans of sad stories, but I'm not reading it.

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This book was incredible. As a foster mom, I could feel all of the things Jack was feeling about Jupiter and the uncertainty of her case. I loved the way Schmidt explored Jack's feelings and didn't make him apologize for feeling that way or acting out of those feelings. I had not read the previous book, Orbiting Jupiter, but I definitely will now!

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this was a really well done story, it had everything that I was looking for from the description. The story had everything that I was hoping for and enjoyed the young adult novel element. Gary D. Schmidt writes a great story and glad I got to read this. It had a great cover and I enjoyed the plot overall.

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"Jupiter Rising" is a sequel to 2015's "Orbiting Jupiter" where we pick up after Jupiter has been with Jack's family for a while, but her biological grandparents are interested in securing custody of her. Jack deals with the prospect of losing his sister and making friends with his new running partner, Jay, whom he got into a fight with the previous year.

"Orbiting Jupiter" has a special place in my heart. During my first year as a reading specialist, a boy who was quite uninterested in reading came to me and said he loved this book he read in English class. He asked if I would also read "Orbiting Jupiter". I jumped at the chance to connect with this student who didn't enjoy reading. I was, however, absolutely gutted by the book. It is an excellent book, but it certainly tugs at your emotions. That student came back and said he knew it would make me cry, and that's why he asked me to read it. It was such a funny exchange even at the time, but I will never forget that student or this book.

Both the original and the sequel are written to engage with their target audience - young adults. It is written like Jack is speaking directly to them, including things he remembers and telling us things he doesn't. It truly is Jack's experience with this unfair world and how he grows up in it. I would recommend this book to young people who aren't fond of reading as well as adults who maybe like a good cry.

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If you enjoyed the first book, Orbiting Jupiter, you will absolutely love Jupiter Rising and will probably read it in one sitting. Students are sure to love both of these books.

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I received a free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I picked this up over the weekend figuring it would be a quick read. It was even quicker than I anticipated - I kept looking at the status bar of my Kindle, thinking there must have been an issue with the file, because I seemed to be blowing through the book so quickly. Nope, it’s just really short! Which means I have the same complaint here that I did with Orbiting Jupiter - it needs to be about 75-100 pages longer! It’s interesting that this isn’t listed (at least not yet) as a sequel, because it most certainly is. I’d argue that Okay for Now and Just Like That are companions to The Wednesday Wars - you can read those in any order and not really lose much. But here, even though it’s billed as a companion, it’s following the same characters, only a few months after the events of Orbiting Jupiter, and while I guess you *could* read this without having read the first book, it definitely loses something.

Jack and his family took in Joseph as a foster kid (I can’t remember if this comes up in the first book - it has to - but Jack was also adopted by his parents after being in their care as a foster kid). Joseph was only 13, but already had a daughter, Jupiter, who he wasn’t allowed to see. Jupiter’s mother died in childbirth and Jupiter went into foster care herself. At the end of the book, Joseph’s father tries to come back for him, and he dies (I confess I completely forget the specifics). Jack’s parents take in Jupiter as their foster child, with the plan to adopt her - a plan they’re putting into action when this book begins. Jack made a promise to Joseph before he died that he would always know where Jupiter was.

So when this book begins, Jupiter’s adoption is in process, but there’s a snag - her grandparents, Maddie’s parents, have decided they want custody of her after all. Seeing as they are her biological relatives, they definitely have a strong case. I kind of wish Schmidt had painted them in less broad strokes (another reason why this book could have been longer!). If you see things from their perspective, it’s easy to see why they would want to take Jupiter in - she’s the last remaining link to their dead daughter. And yes, they let her go into foster care at first, but they were grieving (I mean…she is like 3 at this point, so it took them quite a while to decide they want her). We don’t get much in the way of character development for the Joyces - he’s a jerk, and she’s a snobby rich lady who looks down on Jack’s family’s farm life. Schmidt very rarely presents us with people who are unrepentant assholes (even Meryl Lee’s jerk dad eventually does the right thing!). It feels a little gratuitous, piling on ever more tragedy.

Jack, meanwhile, has been told by his PE coach to take up running. I remember in the first book thinking that Schmidt is just bad at making up new names, but Coach Swieteck is indeed someone we’ve met before. We never actually get his first name here, but it’s Doug’s oldest brother Lucas, the one who came back from Vietnam in a wheelchair. I swear there’s zero mention of the wheelchair in the first book, but he takes more of an active role here, as Schmidt’s signature tough teacher with a heart of gold. There’s also an Ernie Hupfer running around, who I’m betting is the son of a certain Lieutenant Colonel (not that we hear about it this time). Jack and Jay Perkins start running together, and of course they hate each other because Jack is still in junior high and Jay is in high school. Jay has two jackass friends who menace around for a while and then disappear once he and Jack start becoming closer. We eventually find out that Jay is Maddie’s cousin, so he’s in mourning as much as Jack is, and becoming friends with Jack allows him to spend time with Jupiter. He’s also invested in the custody case, obviously, given that it’s his aunt and uncle fighting Jack’s parents.

It’s certainly the kind of tearjerker I’ve come to expect from Schmidt. It’s a little less…witty? than some of his other books. Even Orbiting Jupiter has quite a bit of that trademark tweenaged sarcasm. I love the characters, but I missed some of the fun.

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If you've read Orbiting Jupiter (or my other fave Okay For Now), you know how beautifully devastating and heartbreakingly uplifting this author can be. I didn't think a sequel could hit the same notes, but wow! So glad & grateful to be wrong!

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Jupiter Rising gutted me, just like Orbiting Jupiter did. Such a heartbreaking, emotional story! Jack is now in 8th grade, Coach has set him running with Jay, Madeline’s cousin, and Jupiter’s maternal grandparents want custody. My students will love this sequel!

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3.5/5 stars. Orbiting Jupiter is literary perfection, a rare five-star rating from me. It’s a book I never tire of reading with my students and one of only three books that I really wish had won the Newbery. Jupiter Rising is… fine? I liked Jack’s relationship with Jay Perkins and the twist of Jay’s relation to Maddie. But it’s tricky when you add to something so perfect. You risk detracting. Orbiting Jupiter ended achingly beautifully. I always thought that Jupiter was officially adopted by the Hurds at the end, and it feels like something special was taken away to find out that wasn’t the case.

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I would like to thank #NetGalley and HarperCollins Children’s Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Jupiter Rising by Gary D. Schmidt. #JupiterRising

Gary D. Schmidt’s descriptive writing paints a beautiful picture of family, friendship, and grief. Rising Jupiter picks right up where Orbiting Jupiter left off. Jacob and his parents finally get to adopt Jupiter, Joseph’s daughter. Life is going smooth for the Hurd’s until one knock on their door and the uncertainty of keeping Jupiter enters their lives. Meanwhile, Jacob is in 8th grade and still dealing with the loss of Joseph is approached by the track coach. Jacob slowly gets better at running and makes an unexpected friend along the way. With several obstacles in Jacob’s life find out how he and his family overcome them is by reading Jupiter Rising today. #JupiterRising

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When I discovered that there was a sequel to Orbiting Jupiter, I knew I had to read it ASAP. I don't usually read books so far before they're published but I absolutely couldn't wait. Orbiting Jupiter is one of my all-time favorite books and when there's a follow-up, especially a while later, you never know if the book is going to be cohesive with the first and if it'll live up to it. However, I am beyond thrilled to say that it absolutely lived up to the first one. I was super impressed that it felt like no time had passed and that it was like the story just kept going, no pause. The voice of Jack was just as strong, the storytelling so beautifully powerful. Everything I loved about Orbiting Jupiter I loved about Jupiter Rising. If you haven't read Orbiting Jupiter, stop what you're doing and read it immediately. If you have, you MUST preorder this one. An incredible follow-up and one I tried to savor but couldn't put down. A triumph!

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The YA sequel to the critically acclaimed Orbiting Jupiter.
🐎
Jack gets paired up with his enemy, Jay Perkins, to help him get better at running. Neither boy wants to be around the other after their tussle at school, but both boys are dealing with some pretty heavy issues. While they run, they’re free from family problems, school and the future. But when Jack’s foster sister, Jupiter’s, grandparents show up to fight for custody for her, it’s all Jack can do to hold it together. Before he died, he made Jupiter’s dad, his brother, a promise that he would always know where Jupiter was. He intends to keep that promise.
👧🏼
If you’ve read Orbiting Jupiter, then you know Joseph and Maddie. Their daughter, Jupiter, is just as adorable at three as you would expect. This was such a poignant follow up to one of my favorite young adult books ever. I bawled with that one and I bawled with this one. Jack is going to be fantastic in his future career. I can’t wait for it to release August 27.

CW: death (recounted), grief, death of a child (recounted), blood, hospitalization, car accident, hit and run, broken bones, custody battle, animal death

4.5⭐️

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