Monday, March 22, 2010

Cosmic


by Frank Cottrell Boyce
New York: HarperCollins, 2010


Liam Digby is tall for his age. So tall, in fact, that he is often mistaken for a grown-up which is why when his parents think he is at the South Lakeland Outdoor Activity Center he is actually in a rocket circling the moon with five kids who think he is a dad. When his real father gets a text inviting him to enter a competition, Liam responds and soon finds himself and his fake daughter Florida ready to go on a short trip into space and back. Everything is to be controlled from the ground except for the part where the kids are to push a set of colored buttons in a specific order to release a space module. But, kids being kids, everyone wanted to push the buttons which were then not pushed in the specific order and the whole works--kids, rockets, shuttle--were propelled out of earth orbit and around the far side of the moon. Liam, who is not really a dad but who must suddenly be The Dad takes charge in a remarkable way, drawing on his skills as a World of Warcraft dark elf with healing powers, and on his considerable skills as a child. The whole of Cosmic is even greater than the sum of its tender and hilarious parts, having so much to say about fathers and sons, children and their parents, and even "the Dad of the Universe," the Father of us all.

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