18.57 Gary D. Schmidt Orbiting Jupiter

ISBN 13: 9780544462229

Orbiting Jupiter

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9780544462229: Orbiting Jupiter

The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he’s placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets twelve-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires.

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About the Author:

Gary D. Schmidt is the bestselling author of Okay For Now, the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, and the Newbery Honor book The Wednesday Wars. He is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

one
 
“Before you agree to have Joseph come live with you,” Mrs. Stroud said, “there are one or two things you ought to understand.” She took out a State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services folder and laid it on the kitchen table.
 
My mother looked at me for a long time. Then she looked at my father.
 
He put his hand on my back. “Jack should know what we’re getting into, same as us,” he said. He looked down at me. “Maybe you more than anyone.”
 
My mother nodded, and Mrs. Stroud opened the folder.
 
This is what she told us.
 
Two months ago, when Joseph was at Adams Lake Juvenile, a kid gave him something bad in the boys’ bathroom. He went into a stall and swallowed it.
 
After a long time, his teacher came looking for him.
 
When she found him, he screamed.
 
She said he’d better come out of that stall right now.
 
He screamed again.
 
She said he’d better come out of that stall right now unless he wanted more trouble.
 
So he did.
 
Then he tried to kill her.
 
They sent Joseph to Stone Mountain, even though he did what he did because the kid gave him something bad and he swallowed it. But that didn’t matter. They sent him to Stone Mountain anyway.
 
He won’t talk about what happened to him there. But since he left Stone Mountain, he won’t wear anything orange.
 
He won’t let anyone stand behind him.
 
He won’t let anyone touch him.
 
He won’t go into rooms that are too small.
 
And he won’t eat canned peaches.
 
“He’s not very big on meatloaf either,” said Mrs. Stroud, and she closed the State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services folder.
 
“He’ll eat my mother’s canned peaches,” I said.
 
Mrs. Stroud smiled. “We’ll see,” she said. Then she put her hand on mine. “Jack, your parents know this, and you should too. There’s something else about Joseph.”
 
“What?” I said.
 
“He has a daughter.”
 
I felt my father’s hand against my back.
 
“She’s almost three months old, but he’s never seen her. That’s one of the biggest heartbreaks in this case.” Mrs. Stroud handed the folder to my mother. “Mrs. Hurd, I’ll leave this with you. Read it, and then you can decide. Call me in a few days if . . .”
 
“We’ve talked this over,” said my mother. “We already know.”
 
“Are you sure?”
 
My mother nodded.
 
“We’re sure,” my father said.
 
Mrs. Stroud looked at me. “How about you, Jack?”
 
My father’s hand still against my back.
 
“How soon can he come?” I said.
 
***
 
Two days later, on Friday, Mrs. Stroud brought Joseph home. He looked like a regular eighth-grade kid at Eastham Middle School. Black eyes, black hair almost over his eyes, a little less than middle for height, a little less than middle for weight, sort of middle for everything else.
 
He really could have been any other eighth-grade kid at Eastham Middle School. Except he had a daughter. And he wouldn’t look at you when he talked—if he talked.
 
He didn’t say a thing when he got out of Mrs. Stroud’s car. He wouldn’t let my mother hug him. He wouldn’t shake my father’s hand. And when I brought him up to our room, he threw his stuff on the top bunk and climbed up and still didn’t say anything.
 
I got in the bunk below him and read some until my father called us for milking.
 
In the Big Barn, Joseph and I tore up three bales and filled the bins—I told him you have to fill the bin in the Small Barn for Quintus Sertorius first because he’s an old horse and doesn’t like to wait—and then we went back to the cows in the tie-up to milk. My father said Joseph could watch but after today he’d be helping. Joseph stood with his back against the wall. When the cows turned and looked at him, they didn’t say a thing. Not even Dahlia. They kept pulling on the hay and chewing, like they do. That means they thought he was okay.
 
When my father got to Rosie, he asked Joseph if he’d like to try milking her.
 
Joseph shook his head.
 
“She’s gentle. She’d let anyone milk her.”
 
Joseph didn’t say anything.
 
Still, after my father was done and he’d taken a couple of full buckets out to the cooler, Joseph went up behind Rosie and reached out and rubbed the end of her back, right above her tail. He didn’t know that Rosie loved anyone who rubbed her rump, so when she mooed and swayed her behind, Joseph took a couple of quick steps back.
 
I said, “She’s just telling you she’s—”
 
“I don’t care,” said Joseph, and he left the barn.
 
The next morning, though, when the three of us went out to the Big Barn to milk, Joseph went to Rosie first, and he reached out and rubbed her rump again. And Rosie told Joseph she loved him.
 
That was the first time I saw Joseph smile. Sort of.
 
Joseph had never touched a cow’s rump before. Or her teat even. Really. So he was terrible at milking. And even though I kept rubbing her rump while Joseph was being terrible at milking, Rosie got pretty frustrated, and finally she kicked over the pail because Joseph didn’t have his leg out in front of hers. It didn’t matter much because there was hardly any milk in it anyway.
 
Joseph stood up just when my father came in.
 
My father looked at the pail and the spilled milk.
 
Then at Joseph.
 
“I think there’s something you need to finish there, Joseph,” he said.
 
“You need milk this bad, there’s probably a store where you can get some like normal people,” he said.
 
It was the longest string of words he’d said.
 
“I don’t need the milk,” said my father. He pointed at Rosie. “But she needs you to milk her.”
 
“She doesn’t need me to—”
 
“She needs you.” My father stacked his two pails to the side, then righted Joseph’s pail underneath Rosie. “Sit down on the stool,” he said. It took a few seconds, but Joseph came and sat down, and my father knelt beside him and reached beneath Rosie. “I’ll show you again. With your thumb and forefinger, you pinch off the top—like this, and then let your fingers strip the milk down—like this.” A squirt of milk against the metal side. Another. Another. Then my father stood.
 
A few seconds. More than a few.
 
Then Joseph reached under and tried.
 
Nothing.
 
“Thumb and forefinger tight, then run down your other fingers.”
 
Joseph tried again.
 
My father took over rubbing Rosie’s rump.
 
She mooed once, and then the squirting began. It was slow and not all that steady, but Joseph was milking, and soon the sound in the pail wasn’t the sound of milk on metal, but that foamy sound of milk in milk.
 
My father looked at me and smiled. Then he went around behind Joseph to pick up the pails he’d stacked.
 
And—bang!—Joseph leaped up as if something had exploded beneath him. His pail got knocked over again and the stool and Rosie mooed her afraid moo and Joseph stood with his back against the barn wall with his hands up, and even though he usually didn’t look at anyone he was looking at us and breathing fast and hard, like there wasn’t enough air in the whole wide world to breathe!
 
My father looked at him, and I could see something in my father’s eyes I’d never seen before. Sadness, I guess. “I’m sorry, Joseph. I’ll try to remember,” he said. He bent down and picked up his pails. “I’ll finish here. You boys better go back to the house and get washed up. Jack, tell Mom I’ll be a few minutes.”
 
It was almost dawn when we went outside, Joseph and me. The peaks to the west were lit up and spilling some of the light down their sides and onto our fields, all harvested and turned and ready for the long winter. You could smell the cold air and the wood smoke. The pond had broken panes of ice on the edges, enough to annoy the geese, and from the Small Barn you could hear Quintus Sertorius at his grain, snorting in his bin. Rosie mooed inside the barn. Everywhere in the gray yard, color was filling in—the red barns, the green shutters, the green trim on the house and the yellow trim on the chicken shed, the orange tabby clawing into the fence rail.
 
Joseph didn’t stop to see anything. He missed it all. He went into the house, still breathing hard. The door slapped shut behind him.
 
Still, that afternoon he was back in the Big Barn. And he rubbed Rosie’s rump. And she mooed. And then he milked her. All the way, even though it took a long time.
 
“Do you think Joseph will fit in?” my mother asked me later.
 
“Rosie loves him,” I said.
 
I didn’t need to say anything more. You can tell all you need to know about someone from the way cows are around him.
 
***
 
On Monday, Joseph and I tried to ride the bus to school, which I’d done a million times and it wasn’t exactly a big deal. You wait in the cold and the dark, the bus pulls up, most times Mr. Haskell doesn’t talk to you or even look at you because it’s cold and it’s dark and he didn’t spend all his life wanting to be a bus driver, you know, so you better shut up and go sit down. So you shut up and go sit down and the bus bumps over to Eastham Middle.
 
Like I said, not a big deal.
 
But that morning I got on and Joseph got on behind me and Mr. Haskell looked past me and said, “You’re that kid that has a kid,” and Joseph stopped dead on the bus steps. “I couldn’t believe it when Mr. Canton told us. Aren’t you a little young?”
 
Joseph turned around and got off the bus.
 
“Hey, if you want to walk, it’s no skin off my nose. Two miles, that way. And—What do you think you’re doing?”
 
That last part was to me, because I got off the bus too.
 
“You’re nuts,” said Mr. Haskell.
 
I shrugged. Maybe we were.
 
“You know, I didn’t mean anything. Just getting to know you, kid.”
 
Joseph stood still. His black eyes stared at Mr. Haskell.
 
Mr. Haskell’s face got hard. “Suit yourselves,” he said. “It’s twenty-one degrees out there.” He closed the door and shifted into gear. I saw the faces of Ernie Hupfer and John Wall and Danny Nations plugged into his ear buds all looking out the windows, staring at me like I was the biggest jerk in the world, walking to school in twenty-one degrees. And then the bus was nothing but rising exhaust down the road.
 
I blew my breath out, long and slow. I’m not sure it was even twenty-one degrees.
 
“Why’d you do that?” said Joseph.
 
“I don’t know,” I said.
 
“You should have stayed on the bus.”
 
“Maybe.”
 
Joseph took off his backpack. It was pretty much empty, since he hadn’t gotten any of his books yet. “Give me some of your stuff,” he said.
 
I gave him Physical Science Today! and Language Arts for the New Century, which was sort of out of date because the new century was a dozen years old already. I pulled out my gym stuff, but he said I could carry my own stinking jock. And he took Octavian Nothing and looked at the first page and then looked at me, and I said, “It’s supposed to be hard,” and he shrugged and stuck it into his backpack.
 
Then he slung his backpack over his shoulder and nodded down the road and we set off, two miles, and it wasn’t any twenty-one degrees.
 
Joseph walked a little behind me the whole way.
 
I won’t even tell you what my fingers felt like by the time we turned at old First Congregational.
 
I looked behind me. Joseph’s ears were about as red as ears can get before falling off and shattering on the road.
 
“Would you have known you’re supposed to turn here?” I said.
 
He shrugged.
 
When we got to school, the late bell had rung and the halls were empty except for Mr. Canton, who is the kind of vice principal who really wanted to be a sergeant in a foreign war zone, but he missed out so he’s patrolling middle school halls instead.
 
“You miss the bus?” he said.
 
“Sort of,” I said.
 
“Sort of?” he said.
 
“We got off,” I said.
 
“Why did you get off?”
 
“Because the bus driver is a jerk,” said Joseph.
 
Mr. Canton got bigger. Really. He stood taller and his shoulders spread and his arms widened away from his body.
 
“Mr. Brook, right? Maybe one of your problems is a lack of respect.”
 
Joseph knelt and unzipped his backpack. He handed me my books. Except for Octavian Nothing.
 
“This means a tardy for both of you. You understand?”
 
“Yes, sir,” I said.
 
Mr. Canton waited, but Joseph just zipped up his backpack and stood.
 
“Get to class, Jackson,” Mr. Canton said. “Joseph, you come with me and I’ll go over your schedule. You do have a schedule, you know.”
 
Joseph didn’t say anything. He followed Mr. Canton, walking a little behind him.
 
At supper, I told my parents Joseph and I were walking to school from now on. Joseph kept eating. He didn’t even look up.
 
“That right?” said my father. He looked at Joseph, who still didn’t look up, and after a while my father said, “You boys will need some warm gloves and hats. And probably some heavier sweaters. It’s already pretty cold out. It looks like we’re in for a wicked winter.”
 
My mother had them all ready for us the next morning.
 
Which was good, since this time it really wasn’t even close to twenty-one degrees.
 
When the bus drove past, catching us a little after the turn by old First Congregational, Ernie Hupfer and John Wall and Danny Nations with the wires to his ear buds flapping hard pulled down their windows and they hollered out to tell us what idiots we were, and didn’t we know it was like ten degrees?
 
When they were gone, Joseph said, “Hey.” I looked behind me. He’d dropped his backpack and picked up a stone from the side of the road. He turned and lobbed it toward the bell tower of old First Congregational.
 
I’d never heard that bell ring before.
 
I dropped my backpack too. I missed with my first throw. It’s hard to throw with your gloves on.
 
I missed with my second throw too. And my third. And, well . . .
 
“You’re throwing off your front foot. Push off with your back.”
 
So I did, and the second time, I hit the bell pretty square. The second time!
 
“See?”
 
I nodded. I might have said something if my whole face hadn’t been frozen.
 
And Joseph?
 
His second smile. Sort of.
 
After that, we walk...

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Descripción HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2016. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he s placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets twelve-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780544462229

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Professor Gary D Schmidt
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Descripción HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2016. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he s placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets twelve-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780544462229

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Schmidt, Gary D.
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Descripción Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph has begun to believe he’ll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice. Nº de ref. de la librería 114990378

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