Title: Cosmic
Author: Frank Cottrell Boyce
ISBN: 9780061836831
Pages: 313 pages
Publisher/Date: Walden Pond Press, c2008.

Mom, Dad — if you’re listening– you know I said I was going to the South Lakeland Outdoor Activity Center with the school?
To be completely honest, I’m not exactly in the Lake District.
To be completely honest, I’m more sort of in space.
I’m on this rocket, the Infinite Possibility. I’m about two hundred thousand miles above the surface of the Earth. I’m all right . . . ish.
I know I’ve got some explaining to do. This is me doing it. (1)

Liam Digby is extraordinarily tall. He’s so tall in fact that he routinely gets mistaken for an adult twice his age when Liam is only twelve. So when he gets a call meant for his father advertising a once in a life time opportunity to test out a new theme park in China, he jumps at the chance to finally put his height to good use. The only problem is, he needs to bring his child. Well, that’s really not the only problem. Because after he convinces a classmate to pose as his daughter, he finds out that this new theme park ride is actually a trip to space. And getting to the moon and back involves more than just being “this high to ride the ride.”

I give Frank Cottrell Boyce credit, he knows how to grab a reader’s attention. From the first sentence I was engaged, trying to figure out how in the world they ended up in space. Liam is an ordinary teenager, who gets carried away by the idea of getting first shot at riding a brand new roller coaster, which turns out to be a rocket. Parents might object to the fact that Liam gets accidently drunk at one point in the story, but the reactions and events seem realistically childlike.

I’m unfamiliar with the phone sharing concept that came into play, but apparently it is possible for this to happen overseas and I feel it was explained adequately. I found myself comparing the plot to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where four kids go on an adventure with their parents through a contest setting. The reason they get in trouble is a little unplausable in my opinion, just because the task sounds simple enough and they still mess it up. But I think kids would find relatable characters in this story, and it might spark an interest in space. I thought the acknowledgements and the bibliography in the back of the book were enlightning and I enjoyed those probably as much as the story.

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