|Gravity of us|
Author: Stamper, Phil
When his volatile father is picked to become an astronaut for NASA's mission to Mars, seventeen-year-old Cal, an aspiring journalist, reluctantly moves from Brooklyn to Houston, Texas, and looks for a story to report, finding an ally (and crush) in Leon, the son of another astronaut.
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2019 Gr 7 Up—In a debut novel with credible teen and adult characters, plotting and themes cover a lot of territory. Cal is a Brooklyn teen and a social media phenomenon. When his passenger-pilot father gets the call from NASA to join a Mars probe program, Cal and his mother, who suffers from severe anxiety, have to move with him to Houston. In their new neighborhood, peopled by other astronauts and their families, Cal forgets his best Brooklyn friend while he crushes on new neighbor Leon, who is battling depression. Meanwhile, Cal's media expertise puts NASA's affiliation with a reality show to shame. While all these parts work in their moments, the overall effect feels a bit like bingeing on a television series in which important messages are relayed cleverly at a surface level. VERDICT Given the important issues raised—media responsibility, NASA and politics, friendship and romance, mental health—this has something for a lot of different teen readers.—Francisca Goldsmith, Library Ronin, Worcester, MA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.