About the Book: Liam is too big for his boots. And his football strip. And his school blazer. But being super-sized height-wise has its advantages: he’s the only eleven-year-old to ever ride the G-force defying Cosmic rollercoaster – or be offered the chance to drive a Porsche. Long-legged Liam makes a giant leap for boy-kind by competing with a group of adults for the chance to go into space. Is Liam the best boy for the job? Sometimes being big isn’t all about being a grown-up.
My Two Cents: Frank Cottrell Boyce is one of my very favorite middle grade authors, and this is the first book of his I read. In addition to being a middle grade author, he’s a screenwriter who even wrote the London 2012 Opening Ceremonies. (Remember all of the references to children’s literature?)
As for the book…I love Cosmic. It is funny and smart and touching in ways expected and unexpected. There is plenty of humor and adventure for younger readers. And it’s wonderful to see a main character in middle grade with two really strong parents, and to see how Liam’s love for his father actually grows throughout the book as he goes off on his own adventures. As for a rating, Cosmic deserves a whole galaxy of stars.
Grade Level: 3-6
- Try to think of a vacation destination that Liam’s mom wouldn’t think was too dangerous, or try to think of the most dangerous vacations possible!
- Design your own Biggest Thrill Ride in the History of the World! Or take virtual rides on rollercoasters via YouTube and decide which would be the biggest thrill.
- Learn about Gustav Holst and listen to The Planets like Liam and his class. You can draw your own pictures of planets while you listen.
- Find all of Liam’s Waterloos on a map–in England, Belgium, Siberia, and Sierra Leone. Where else can you find a Waterloo?
More to Read:
- Another golden-ticket type adventure that kids will eat up: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
But really, you should just read all of Boyce’s books and fall in love with their characters, including:
- Two brothers who happen upon a bag of money and need to spend alot of pounds before Britain switches to Euros in Millions
- A nine-year-old from a family with “criminal instincts” who prevents (or causes?) a major art heist in Framed
- The hilarious and adventurous Tooting family and their flying camper van in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again (follow-up to Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1964)