Title: The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole
Author: Michele Cuevas
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Grade Level: 3-7
Age Range 8-12 years
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.
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I decided to read this book solely based on the book's title. How could I not? The title is very clever. I loved the concept for this book and thought it was very original. The story was a very sweet and fun read. Stella is a quirky character who loves science and making lists. She's also trying to come to terms with her dad dying.
There were times I wished it was more descriptive, like when she's in the black hole, and I wished that I could read about Stella's thoughts a little more. But overall a great read and appropriate for most any age.
And personally, I wouldn't want a black hole as a pet, even though this one was pretty cute and ate all sorts of garbage.