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Young Adult Fiction Thrillers & Suspense

Center of the Universe, The

by (author) Ria Voros

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2024
Thrillers & Suspense, Science & Technology, Mysteries & Detective Stories
Recommended Age
14 to 18
Recommended Grade
9 to 12
Recommended Reading age
14 to 18
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2019
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


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.

About the author

Ria Voros is the author of middle grade and young adult novels that have been recognized by the White Pine Award, the Rocky Mountain Book Award and Best Books for Kids and Teens. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia.When she's not writing, teaching or baking sweet things, Ria can be found hiking to the tops of mountains with her family and two dogs. She believes in recycling, self-care and hot summer mornings. She lives on W̱SÁNÉC Traditional Territory in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Ria Voros' profile page


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

Editorial Reviews

This beautifully layered novel packs a powerful punch ...

The Globe and Mail

... this is sure to be a hit among readers who devour realistic fiction and family-driven mysteries.


Smart and intriguing, this mystery succeeds on several levels.

School Library Connection

Voros has given her young adult readers a novel which will satisfy on many levels.

CM Magazine

... compelling characters, wry humor, masterful and suspenseful plotting ...

Kirkus Reviews

... a genuine pleasure.

Quill & Quire

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