Gr 3–6—Information abounds in these glossy, colorful, engaging volumes. Each book starts with a "Find the Truth!" section, which presents readers with two statements and encourages them to figure out which one is true by the end of the book (a great way to interest them). Facts boxes pop up everywhere-even on the covers and in the tables of contents. The narratives are interesting, accessible, and divided into clearly labeled sections. While highlighting achievements, the books also candidly touch on negative aspects of the subjects' lives, such as Bill Clinton's "relationship with another woman" and the fact that Steve Jobs "usually smelled bad" in the 1970s because he didn't shower. Colorful and black-and-white captioned photos, time lines, a "True Statistics" section, and other helpful features supplement the texts. A solid, entertaining, and informative series.
- Barbara L. Talcroft
The story of Steve Jobs (1955—2011) will attract readers who love the latest technology and yearn to be successful entrepreneurs as well. A good choice for the energetic "Cornerstones of Freedom" series about American history, Jobs was an eccentric genius who helped revolutionize computer technology and dreamed of changing the world. Living in Palo Alto, he began early, experimenting with electronics in high school, attracting attention from Hewlett Packer, and finding a superb partner in Steve Wozniak. With Apples I and II and the first Macintosh, Apple Computer was born! Gregory goes on to explain that Jobs, angry and critical, had trouble getting along with employees and often didn't impress other businesspeople on first acquaintance. Despite his brilliant ideas, Jobs was pushed out of the company. Envisioning Pixar and the superior OSX operating system for computers finally made it possible for him to return to Apple. (He also got married and started a family—all girls.) Further triumphs followed with his hugely successful iTunes, iPhone, and iPad. Sadly, Jobs developed pancreatic cancer—though he kept his illness secret and continued to work, the disease progressed rapidly. He died in 2011. Gregory manages to make a work-obsessed perfectionist fairly sympathetic; tech-minded readers will admire Jobs's originality, persistence, and courage. Photos are plentiful (one of a smiling Jobs with his wife Laurene Powell makes him seem more human), while sidebars add details about Atari, partners like animator John Lasseter and designer Jony Ive, and Apple's familiar logo. A timeline and bibliography will offer support for research; readers may want to visit Scholastic's website to view sources like Apple's famous 1984 Super Bowl commercial for the Mac. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
- Remy Dou
A hero to adopted children and tinkerers everywhere, Steve Jobs broke the mold. His eccentricity, his personal life, his challenges, and his tremendous successes all resound in this wonderful volume. The content provides an overview of Jobs' life, from birth to earth, with enough interesting details to satisfy the curiosity. Readers will learn about Jobs' adoption, his introduction to Steve Wozniak, his first financially successful invention, the beginning of Apple, his resignation from the company, his follow up success, and his return to Apple—driving the company to where it is currently. Gregory's narrative motivates readers to turn the pages. Middle grade readers will understand the text with ease, focusing more on comprehension than sentence structure. The page layouts include fascinating photographs of places, people, and inventions from Steve Jobs' past. The font is easy on the eyes, and the text's spacing makes reading a breeze. This book includes a list of additional references, a glossary, and an index. This would make a great addition to classroom or school libraries. As stated in the book's opening paragraph: Steve Jobs changed the world. Reviewer: Remy Dou