VOYAWith a breezy style, short length, large font, numerous photographs, and attractive page design, books in the Techies series provide quick reads and laudatory profiles of major tech world figures. Each volume contains information about the subject's childhood, creativeness, struggle to achieve, and successes and failures. The books also contain a brief look at the changing technology marketplace with its fierce competition. Several one- to two-page sections of Tech Talk explore in simple terms such major technology subjects as computer language, code writing, Web page creation, the Internet, and search engines. Steve Jobs of Apple and Macintosh fame grew up in what is now the Silicon Valley. He used his interest in electricity and computers to develop, along with his friend Steve Wozniak, a "computer that was small and useful and simple enough that everybody in the world would want to have one." Marc Andreessen showed great ability in computer programming. His work led to the development of Mosaic and later Netscape, both in pursuit of the idea of making the Internet "as easy to use as possible." Jeff Bezos, with his philosophy of "work hard, have fun, make history," developed Amazon.com, starting his online business in his garage. All three men march to different drummers, are risk takers and highly competitive, and work to make computers increasingly accessible. These books will be helpful to younger students interested in the fields of technology or business. They will be additionally useful to teens looking for short biographies, serving as high interest/low vocabulary titles. Index. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J S (Better than most, marred only byoccasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Twenty-First Century, 80p. PLB $21.90. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Susan H. Levine SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)
Children's LiteratureWeb Warrior is a good, basic introduction to the history and science behind the Internet and the World Wide Web, as well as an interesting biography of one of the young "techies" who helped make both accessible to anyone with a computer. Marc Andreessen grew up a small town in rural Wisconsin, but always had dreams of being something other than a farmer or factory worker. His parents bought him his first computer in the mid-1980s, when it was unusual for a family to own one. Gifted at math and science, Marc was a natural at programming and quickly developed a passion for computers. When he entered the University of Illinois in 1989, he already envisioned a world in which everyone would be connected via a web-like computer network. Over the next ten years he pursued this dream, first at the University of Illinois and then in Silicon Valley. In 1995, he helped start Netscape, becoming a multimillionaire at age 24. Andreessen's story is told in colorful, informal language and illustrated with black-and-white photos of average quality. Special "Tech Talk" pages give clear explanations of binary code and web site design. This book belongs to a series called "Techies." 2001, Twenty-First Century Books/The Millbrook Press, $21.90. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Joyce Schwartz
School Library JournalGr 5-8-These books profile two of the pioneers of the cyberspace era. Andreessen was instrumental in the creation of Mosaic, an early Web browser, and was cheated of recognition for his efforts. In revenge, he created the Netscape Navigator, which allowed the general public to use the Internet easily. However, his triumph sparked a huge legal and commercial battle with software-giant Bill Gates and Microsoft for control of the browser market. Bezos saw the commercial opportunities in an easily accessible Internet and created Amazon.com, one of the first, now most widely recognized dot.com businesses. Although his story makes for good reading, Andreessen's story of revenge and cutthroat competition is the more compelling of the two. Both authors are admiring of their subjects, emphasizing how they were able to see the possibilities of cyberspace and create something entirely new. Although these stories are interesting and readable, the books themselves are not very attractive. Each has only a few black-and-white photos that add little to the text and the cover art is not flattering to either man. In spite of superficial weaknesses, these titles are sure to appeal to both report writers and the young techies who exist in every school, showing them that those who view the world differently can make significant contributions.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Meet the Author
Daniel Ehrenhaft has written numerous books for young adults.
From the Hardcover edition.
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