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Theo Byrne is a promising young astrobiologist who has found a way to search for life on other planets dozens of light years away. He is also the widowed father of a most unusual nine-year-old. His son Robin is funny, loving, and filled with plans. He thinks and feels deeply, adores animals, and can spend hours painting elaborate pictures. He is also on the verge of being expelled from third grade, for smashing his friend’s face with a metal thermos.

What can a father do, when the only solution offered to his rare and troubled boy is to put him on psychoactive drugs? What can he say when his boy comes to him wanting an explanation for a world that is clearly in love with its own destruction? The only thing for it is to take the boy to other planets, all the while fostering his desperate campaign to help save this one.

About the Author

Richard Powers

Richard Powers is the author of 12 previous novels. His most recent, The Overstory, was shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize and won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the 2020 American Academy of Arts and Letters’ William Dean Howells Medal for the most distinguished American work of fiction published in the last five years. The Overstory has been on the New York Times bestseller list for 68 weeks to date. Powers is also the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Book Award, among other accolades. He lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.