The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole, Michelle Cuevas
Since reading Neil Gaiman’s absolutely wonderful children’s novel, Fortunately the Milk, I’ve been on the lookout for a book to call its spiritual successor. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole feels like that book. Michelle Cuevas has very cleverly and tastefully (which is no surprise considering she wrote The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles) disguised the story of one young girl’s grief as a surprisingly touching adventure through time and space.
The story begins with ten-year-old Stella Rodriguez arriving at NASA to speak with Carl Sagan. Stella wants more than anything to put a recording of her late father’s laughter on the Voyager spacecraft so that it can be launched into space with the rest of Sagan’s Golden Record. Instead of helping her out, NASA turns Stella away, and that night a real-life, honest-to-goodness black hole follows her home. Stella soon discovers that the black hole (Larry, short for Singularity) absorbs everything it touches which drives her a bit nuts… until Stella discovers it’s convenient for getting rid of unwanted items. The problem? Larry accidentally swallows her dog, sending Stella on an escapade through time and space.