cover image See You in the Cosmos

See You in the Cosmos

Jack Cheng, read by Kivlighan de Montebello and a full cast. Listening Library, unabridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs., $35 ISBN 978-1-5247-5000-8

Alex, an 11 year-old boy who loves astronomy, makes a series of recordings to send into outer space in an effort to communicate with aliens. He plans to launch them using a rocket at the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival in New Mexico. Leaving his mother, who is neglectful and bedridden due to depression, behind in Colorado, he heads to the festival with his dog, Carl Sagan. His trip results in new friends, clues about his long-dead father, and a reunion with his half-sister. The book is told solely through Alex’s recordings, which makes it an ideal fit for audio. De Montebello is an excellent child actor who sounds completely natural as the innocent, earnest, curious protagonist; the other cast members—Michael Crouch, Jason Culp, Graham Halstead, and Brittany Pressley—are not quite as memorable. The audiobook effectively creates the illusion of spontaneous recordings with sound effects and background noise added in. This creative and unusual audiobook adds an extra dimension to the written work and brings the story to life in a way that perfectly matches the subject. Ages 10–up. A Dial hardcover. (Mar.)