When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan's Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. Read more...
When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan's Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything he touches, which is challenging to say the least--but also turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn't want around. Soon the ugly sweaters her aunt has made for her all disappear within the black hole, as does the smelly class hamster she's taking care of, and most important, all the reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around. It's not until Stella, her younger brother, Cosmo, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella comes to realize she has been letting her own grief consume her. And that's not the only thing she realizes as she attempts to get back home. This is an astonishingly original and funny adventure with a great big heart.
- ISBN-13: 9780399539138
- ISBN-10: 0399539131
- Publisher: Dial Books
- Publish Date: September 2017
- Page Count: 208
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds
A quirky journey through grief
There’s no shortage of books for young readers about grief, but it’s safe to say that Michelle Cuevas’ new novel isn’t quite like any of them. Set in the mid-1970s, The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole is poignant, funny, inventive and downright wacky, and at its center (literally!) is an unforgettable metaphor for the grieving process.
Stella Rodriguez’s world hasn’t been the same since her joke-telling, science-loving dad passed away. As the story opens, she is swinging by NASA headquarters, hoping to ask them to include a recording of her dad’s laugh—alongside other iconic Earth sounds—on the Voyager interstellar spacecraft.
On her return home, Stella discovers that she’s picked up a stray—and very hungry—black hole. She soon realizes that the black hole, which she names Larry (short for cosmic singularity), is also starving for companionship. Stella wonders whether Larry might be her best hope to get rid of now-painful memories and reminders—but when that plan begins to backfire, Stella realizes that perhaps the only way to escape the black hole is to travel through it.
In addition to being a powerful story about how to live with—and through—grief, Stella’s tale is a wild adventure, featuring talking garden gnomes, mutant sweaters, a not-too-annoying little brother and the world’s smelliest hamster. Just like Larry, this book will absorb pretty much any young reader—whether they are coping with a loss, love scientific speculation or just enjoy an imaginative tale.