BW • 5.75 x 8.5 • 512 pages
Grades: 9 to 12 / Ages: 14 to 18

Hardcover Jacket
978-1-5253-0038-7 | Apr 2, 2019
List Price:
USD $17.99, CAD $18.99

The Center of the Universe

Grace Carter’s mother — the celebrity news anchor GG Carter — is everything Grace is not. GG is a star, with a flawless wardrobe and a following of thousands, while Grace — an aspiring astrophysicist — is into stars of another kind. She and her mother have always been in different orbits.

Then one day GG is just … gone. Cameras descend on their house, news shows speculate about what might have happened and Grace’s family struggles to find a new rhythm as they wait for answers.

While the authorities unravel the mystery behind GG’s disappearance, Grace grows closer to her high school’s golden boy, Mylo, who has faced a black hole of his own. She also uncovers some secrets from her mother’s long-lost past. The more Grace learns, the more she wonders. Did she ever really know her mother? Was GG abducted … or did she leave? And if she left, why?

Author Ria Voros (Nobody’s Dog, The Opposite of Geek) reaches for the stars here, deftly combining mystery with a passion for science and themes of mother-daughter bonds, celebrity, first love and best friendship.

Facts about astronomy and astrophysics are seamlessly woven into the story and are supplemented by an interview with real-life astrophysicist Elizabeth Tasker, making this the perfect book for readers who love STEM. And even readers who don’t have stars in their eyes will love this smart, suspenseful, relatable and literary novel.

Science & Stories from Elizabeth Tasker on Vimeo.


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Reviews & Awards


“… compelling characters, wry humor, masterful and suspenseful plotting …”
Kirkus Reviews, January 2019

“… a genuine pleasure.”
Quill & Quire, February 2019

“… this is sure to be a hit among readers who devour realistic fiction and family-driven mysteries.”
Booklist, March 2019

“Smart and intriguing, this mystery succeeds on several levels.”
School Library Connection, March 2019

“This beautifully layered novel packs a powerful punch …”
The Globe and Mail, May 2019

“Voros has given her young adult readers a novel which will satisfy on many levels.”
CM Magazine, June 2019


2020 Snow Willow Award, Saskatchewan Young Readers` Choice Awards, Finalist
2019 Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2019 OLA Best Bets, Ontario Library Association, Winner

Educational Resources




Guided Reading
Guided Reading Grade Level
Lexile Code
Lexile Level



mother daughter relationship
high school
first love