Alex Petroski is a precocious 11-year-old who loves space, rockets, his family, and his dog, Carl Sagan — named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All Alex wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. So he sets out on a journey to make his dream come true, recording the sounds of life on Earth, his Earth, along the way. But his destination keeps changing, taking him far from his suburban Colorado home and bringing a series of unforgettable characters into his life, all of whom help him to make sense of our big, beautiful, complicated world.
Born in Shanghai, author Cheng came to the U.S. with his family when he was five, and grew up in metropolitan Detroit. A U-M grad, he spent nearly a decade in New York City working in advertising and tech before returning to Detroit to pursue new projects that integrate his professional experience with his passion for creativity and innovation.