Book Review: Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker (Teen/Tween Fiction)

For Scarlett Blaine, growing up in the 1960s is complicated. Her parents struggle to make ends meet; her older sister has become a rebellious, blue-haired hippie; her Grandpop Barley behaves oddly; the boy she has a crush on is in love with her sister; and no one but Scarlett seems able to understand and accept her younger brother Cliff, who just doesn’t act like the other kids his age.

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When Cliff asks for a rocket to Jupiter for his birthday, Scarlett comes up with a plan to make it happen. But then Scarlett’s world falls apart, and keeping her promise to Cliff becomes more impossible — and necessary — than ever.

Believe it or not, Rachel Coker wrote this novel when she was a teenager. A gifted writer, she has created extremely well-developed and relatable characters and a story that is both real and raw (be prepared to sob), but also poignant and sweet. Through tragedy and hope, Chasing Jupiter explores the questions and doubts that are an integral part of coming to faith in Jesus.

If you’re looking for a book to add to your tween/teen’s reading list, I highly recommend this novel. Chasing Jupiter is one of the most wonderful coming-of-age stories that I have read.

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