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Orbiting Jupiter

Orbiting Jupiter” is a young adult novel written by Gary D. Schmidt, first published in 2015. The book tells the story of a troubled teenager named Joseph, who is placed in a foster home after being released from a juvenile detention center. Here is a summary of the book:

Main Characters:*

1. Joseph Brook: The 14-year-old protagonist of the story. He has a troubled past, having been in and out of juvenile detention centers and facing many hardships.

2. Jack Hurd: The farmer who takes Joseph into his home as a foster child. He is caring, patient, and determined to help Joseph despite the challenges.

3. Madeline: Jack’s daughter, who is around Joseph’s age. She forms a close bond with Joseph and helps him navigate the challenges of school and social life.


Joseph’s story begins with his arrival at Jack Hurd’s farm in a small town. He is a new foster child in the Hurds’ home, and it’s evident that he has a painful past. As Joseph settles into his new life, it is revealed that he is a father at the age of 14, and his daughter, Jupiter, was placed for adoption. Joseph is determined to find Jupiter, and this mission becomes a central focus of the story.

The novel explores Joseph’s struggles with the challenges of being a teenage father, as well as his quest to reunite with Jupiter. Jack and Madeline support him in his efforts, but it’s not an easy journey. The community has mixed reactions to Joseph’s presence and his desire to be a part of his daughter’s life.

As the story unfolds, readers witness Joseph’s growth as he confronts his past and learns to cope with the challenges of his present life. The bond between Joseph and the Hurds deepens, and he also forms a close friendship with Madeline. Despite the obstacles and hardships, Joseph remains determined to be a father to Jupiter and prove that he can be responsible and caring.

The novel ultimately explores themes of family, love, redemption, and the resilience of the human spirit. It is a heartwarming and emotionally charged story that addresses difficult issues facing young people and the power of compassion and love to overcome adversity.

Orbiting Jupiter” is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that resonates with readers due to its exploration of the complexities of family, friendship, and the indomitable spirit of youth.

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