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Publisher's Summary

A space-obsessed boy and his dog, Carl Sagan, take a journey toward family, love, hope, and awe in this funny and moving novel for fans of Counting by 7s and Walk Two Moons.

Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog, Carl Sagan - named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to LA, Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on Earth, his Earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he'll uncover - from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

For fans of Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Jack Cheng's debut is full of joy, optimism, determination, and unbelievable heart. To listen to the first few minutes is to fall in love with Alex and his view of our big, beautiful, complicated world. To listen to the end is to know he and his story will stay with you a long, long time.

Read by Kivlighan de Montebello and a full cast, including Brittany Pressley (as Terra), Graham Halstead (as Steve), Michael Crouch (as Ronnie), and Jason Culp (as Zed). Additional narration provided by Therese Plummer, Susan Bennett, Dan Bittner, Pete Larkin, and Courtney Shaw.

©2017 Jack Cheng (P)2017 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"The episodic action--which includes narrators Brittany Pressley, Graham Halstead, Michael Crouch, Jason Culp, and others as supporting characters--makes it easy to suspend disbelief and renders this an altogether captivating listening experience." (AudioFile)

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Inspired By Voyager II's Golden Record

This Middle Grade novel just begs to be listened to on audio. Inspired by the true story of Carl Sagan and Voyager II’s Golden Record (which I've been obsessed with for years), 11-year-old Alex creates his own golden iPod to show aliens what life on Earth is like. Each chapter is presented as one of Alex's “recordings,” and the audiobook team ran with this opportunity to create a very original audio production complete with a full cast, sound effects, and the whole shebang.

I especially love that they cast a young boy to read the main part — Kivlighan de Montebello gives a hugely heartwarming and hilarious performance as Alex. From what I understand, it's very rare to cast such a young person as an audiobook narrator just because of the skill and sheer endurance it requires.

This had enough crossover appeal for me to enjoy listening to it on my own as an adult, but it would be fun to listen to with a kiddo, too. Don't miss this one if you want to experience the cutting edge of audiobook production!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Out of this world!

I really enjoyed this book, the narration was wonderful and the story was engaging.
I purchased it to listen to with my teenage client. The story gets a little heavy for younger people, depending on their life experience, but she liked it almost as much as I did. I highly recommend it for young people and those young at heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful