Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different

( 19 )

Overview

"Your time is limited. . . . have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."—Steve Jobs

 

From the start, his path was never predictable. Steve Jobs was given up for adoption at birth, dropped out of college after one semester, and at the age of twenty, created Apple in his parents' garage with his friend Steve Wozniack. Then came the core and hallmark of his genius—his exacting moderation for perfection, his counterculture life approach, and his level of taste and style that pushed all boundaries. A ...

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Overview

"Your time is limited. . . . have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."—Steve Jobs

 

From the start, his path was never predictable. Steve Jobs was given up for adoption at birth, dropped out of college after one semester, and at the age of twenty, created Apple in his parents' garage with his friend Steve Wozniack. Then came the core and hallmark of his genius—his exacting moderation for perfection, his counterculture life approach, and his level of taste and style that pushed all boundaries. A devoted husband, father, and Buddhist, he battled cancer for over a decade, became the ultimate CEO, and made the world want every product he touched.

         Critically acclaimed author Karen Blumenthal takes us to the core of this complicated and legendary man while simultaneously exploring the evolution of computers. Framed by Jobs' inspirational Stanford commencement speech and illustrated throughout with black and white photos, this is the story of the man who changed our world.

 

 

 

A 2013 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Framing her work around the themes of a lauded commencement speech that “technology rock star” Jobs delivered to Stanford University’s class of 2005, Blumenthal crafts an insightful, balanced portrait of the enigmatic man whose life was cut short by illness in 2011. The book chronicles Jobs’s boyhood passions for technology, simplicity, and design that led to his rocky tenures with the technology company he helped create, was fired from, and returned to and led to the heights of its success. Readers receive a primer in technological advances, including the mathematics of animation, as well as Jobs’s vision for product design and marketing innovation. Blumenthal relates accounts of Jobs’s eccentric hygiene and eating habits, his infamous tantrums and tirades in the workplace, and his harsh treatment of colleagues, loved ones, and friends. However, his charisma often won the day, and commentary from Jobs and his wife, given near the end of his life, help soften the picture. Numerous b&w photographs and sidebars appear, and an author’s note, technology time line, glossary, index, and bibliography give this volume extra polish. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ken Wright, Writers House. (Feb.)
VOYA - Tapan Srivastava
This book is well written and based on an interesting topic, but the author does not vary her sentence structure, which creates a slightly monotonous feeling. Because of this lack of diversity of the sentences, the book's flow begins to feel flat, rather than having the normal highs and lows that come with emphasizing certain sentences or paragraphs. This book would have been much more interesting had the author fixed that problem. Reviewer: Tapan Srivastava, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Rebecca Moore
Students who know Steve Jobs only through Apple's iTunes, iPhones, and iPads will have their eyes opened by this accessible and well-written biography. Jobs was a complicated man, both volatile and visionary, mean spirited and charming, perfectionist and slovenly, and his highs and lows were largely of his own making. From an unpropitious start in being given up for adoption, he proceeded on to immense heights with Apple and Pixar; and to equally great lows in getting fired from Apple, seeing several business ventures fail, and eventually succumbing to cancer. "The journey is the reward," Jobs once said. His own journey rewarded him with a roller coaster of experiences. Blumenthal's well-balanced biography follows Jobs's life chronologically. Covering both his career and personal relationships, it allows readers to draw their own conclusions about the whole of the man—the good, the bad, and the legacy. While the author does not shy away from Jobs's darker side, she presents his story in terms appropriate for readers aged twelve and up. Sidebars provide additional details, background information, and interesting tangential stories. The book does have two drawbacks, however. First, Blumenthal's framing device—connecting Jobs's life story to his 2005 Stanford commencement address—does not work because the threads get lost. Second, the book's matte paper does little for the average black-and-white photos. Still, this excellent resource will appeal to casual readers as well as report writers. Reviewer: Rebecca Moore
Kirkus Reviews
An admiring though not entirely adulatory view of our era's greatest technology celebrity, rightly dubbed (by U2's Bono) "the hardware software Elvis." Blumenthal weaves her portrait on the thematic frame used by Jobs himself in his autobiographical 2005 Stanford commencement address. She "connects the dots" that led him from his adoption as an infant through his "phone phreaking" days to a spectacular rise and just as meteoric fall from corporate grace in the 1980s. Following a decade of diminished fortunes and largely self-inflicted complications in personal relationships, he returned to Apple for a spectacular second act that also turned out to be his final one. Despite getting bogged down occasionally in detail, the author tells a cohesive tale, infused with dry wit ("He also considered going into politics, but he had never actually voted, which would have been a drawback") The book is thoroughly researched and clear on the subject's foibles as well as his genius. A perceptive, well-wrought picture of an iconic figure well worth admiring--from a distance. (endnotes, photos, time line) (Biography. 11-14)
From the Publisher
"Students who know Steve Jobs only through Apple’s iTunes, iPhones, and iPads will have their eyes opened by this accessible and well-written biography.”—VOYA

“…an engaging and intimate portrait. Few biographies for young readers feel as relevant and current as this one does.”—Horn Book Magazine

“This is a smart book about a smart subject by a smart writer.” —Booklist, starred

“A perceptive, well-wrought picture of an iconic figure…”—Kirkus

 "...Blumenthal crafts an insightful, balanced portrait..."—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250014450
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 2/14/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 31,395
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1110L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

KAREN BLUMENTHAL is a critically acclaimed children's non-fiction writer and a long-time journalist for the Wall Street Journal. She is the author of Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition, which received four starred reviews, Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929, which was a Sibert Honor Book, and Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX, which won a Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. She lives in Dallas, Texas.

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Read an Excerpt

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different


By Karen Blumenthal

Feiwel & Friends

Copyright © 2012 Karen Blumenthal
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781250015570

1
Seeds
 
 
Steve Jobs’s first story involved connecting dots, and it began with a most unusual promise.
Joanne Schieble was just twenty-three and attending graduate school in Wisconsin when she learned she was pregnant. Her father didn’t approve of her relationship with a Syrian-born graduate student, and social customs in the 1950s frowned on a woman having a child outside of marriage. To avoid the glare, Schieble moved to San Francisco and was taken in by a doctor who took care of unwed mothers and helped arrange adoptions.
Originally, a lawyer and his wife agreed to adopt the new baby. But when the child was born on February 24, 1955, they changed their minds.
Clara and Paul Jobs, a modest San Francisco couple with some high school education, had been waiting for a baby. When the call came in the middle of the night, they jumped at the chance to adopt the newborn, and they named him Steven Paul.
Schieble wanted her child to be adopted by college-educated parents. Before the adoption could be finalized, however, she learned that neither parent had a college degree. She balked and only agreed to complete the adoption a few months later, “when my parents promised that I would go to college,” Jobs said.
Signing on to the hope of a bright future for their baby, the Jobs family settled in, adopting a daughter, Patty, a couple of years later. Little Steve proved to be a curious child, and a challenging one to rear. He put a bobby pin into an electrical outlet, winning a trip to the emergency room for a burned hand. He got into ant poison, requiring yet another trip to the hospital to have his stomach pumped. To keep Steve busy when he got up before the rest of the household, his parents bought him a rocking horse, a record player, and some Little Richard records. He was so difficult as a toddler, his mother once confided, that she wondered if she had made a mistake adopting him.
When Steve was five, his father, Paul, was transferred to Palo Alto, about forty-five minutes south of San Francisco. After serving in the Coast Guard during World War II, Paul had worked as a machinist and used-car salesman, and now was working for a finance company collecting bad debts. In his free time, he fixed up used cars and sold them for a profit, money that would go to Steve’s future college fund.
The area south of San Francisco was largely undeveloped then and dotted with apricot and prune orchards. The family bought a house in Mountain View, and as Paul put together his workshop in the garage, he set aside a part of it, telling his son, “Steve, this is your workbench now.” He taught Steve how to use a hammer and gave him a set of smaller tools. Over the years, Jobs remembered, his dad “spent a lot of time with me … teaching me how to build things, how to take things apart, put things back together.”
His father’s careful craftsmanship and commitment to the finest details made a deep impression. He “was a sort of genius with his hands. He can fix anything and make it work and take any mechanical thing apart and get it back together,” Jobs told an interviewer in 1985. His father also stressed the importance of doing things right. For instance, his son learned, “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back.”
That was a lesson Jobs would apply over and over to new products from Apple. “For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through,” he said.
Clara supported her young son as well, babysitting the children of friends in the evenings to pay for swimming lessons. And because Steve was precocious and interested, she taught him to read, giving him a big head start at school.
Unfortunately for Steve, knowing how to read became something of a problem. Once in school, “I really just wanted to do two things,” he remembered. “I wanted to read books because I loved reading books and I wanted to go outside and chase butterflies.” What he didn’t want to do was follow instructions. He bucked at the structure of the school day and soon was bored with being in class. He felt different from his classmates.
When he was six or seven years old, he told the girl across the street that he was adopted. “So does that mean your real parents didn’t want you?” she asked.
The innocent question hit him like a punch to the stomach, planting a frightening thought that had never occurred to him. He ran into his house, sobbing. His parents quickly moved to comfort him and shoot down that notion. “They were very serious and looked me straight in the eye,” he said. “They said, ‘We specifically picked you out.’”
In fact, his parents thought he was very special—exceptionally bright, though also exceptionally strong-willed. Later, friends and colleagues would say that his drive and need for control grew out of a deep-rooted sense of abandonment. But he didn’t see it that way. “Knowing I was adopted may have made me feel more independent, but I have never felt abandoned,” he told a biographer. “I’ve always felt special. My parents made me feel special.”
Some of his teachers, however, saw him more as a troublemaker than as a special kid. Jobs found school so dull and dreadful that he and a buddy got their biggest kicks out of causing havoc. Many of the kids rode bikes to school, locking them up in racks outside Monta Loma Elementary School, and in third grade, Jobs and his friend traded the combination to their bike locks with many of their classmates. Then one day, they went out and switched the locks all around. “It took them until about ten o’clock that night to get all the bikes sorted out,” he recalled.
The worst behavior was reserved for the teacher. Jobs and his friend let a snake loose in the classroom and created a small explosion under her chair. “We gave her a nervous twitch,” he said later.
He was sent home two or three times for his misbehavior, but he doesn’t remember being punished for it. Instead, his father defended him, telling teachers, “If you can’t keep him interested, it’s your fault.”
In fourth grade, he was rescued by a special teacher, Imogene “Teddy” Hill, who kindly showered attention on him during a particularly trying time at home. Impressed by a neighbor who seemed to be making a successful living selling real estate, Paul Jobs went to school at night and earned a real-estate license. But his timing was bad and the demand for housing slumped just as he was trying to break into the business.
One day, Mrs. Hill asked her students, “What is it that you don’t understand about the universe?” Young Jobs answered: “I don’t understand why all of a sudden my dad is so broke.” Clara took a part-time job in the payroll department of a local company and the family took out a second loan on their house. For a year or so, money in the Jobs home was very tight.
Within a few weeks of having Jobs in her class, Mrs. Hill had sized up her unusual student. She offered Jobs a sweet bargain: If he could finish a math workbook on his own and get at least 80 percent right, she would give him five dollars and a giant lollipop.
“I looked at her like, ‘Are you crazy, lady?’” Jobs said. But he took the challenge. Before long, his admiration and respect for Mrs. Hill were so great that he didn’t need bribes anymore.
She returned the admiration, providing her precocious student with a kit for making a camera by grinding his own lens. But that didn’t mean Jobs became an easy kid. Many years later, Mrs. Hill entertained some of Jobs’s coworkers by showing them a photo of her class on Hawaiian Day. Jobs was in the middle, wearing a Hawaiian shirt. But the photo didn’t tell the whole story: Jobs hadn’t actually worn a Hawaiian shirt that day—but he had managed to convince a classmate to give him the shirt off his back.
Calling the teacher “one of the saints in my life,” Jobs said, “I learned more that year than I think I learned in any year in school.” And he credits her with moving him onto the right path. “I’m one hundred percent sure that if it hadn’t been for Mrs. Hill in fourth grade and a few others, I would absolutely have ended up in jail,” he said later.
With his interest in school reignited and his performance seemingly on track, Jobs was tested and scored so high that school officials recommended he skip a couple of grades. His parents agreed to let him skip just one.
Middle school was tougher academically and he still wanted to chase butterflies. A sixth-grade report called him “an excellent reader,” but noted “he has great difficulty motivating himself or seeing the purpose of studying reading.” He was also “a discipline problem at times.”
Seventh grade brought a much rougher crowd of classmates. Fights were common. Some students bullied the wiry kid who was a year younger than everyone else. Jobs was miserable, and in the middle of that year, he gave his parents an ultimatum: He said “if he had to go back to school there again, he just wouldn’t go,” his father recalled. They took him seriously. “So we decided we better move,” his dad said.
His parents pulled together what little they had and bought a three-bedroom home in Los Altos, where the schools were top-notch—and safe. There, presumably, their gifted son might focus on his studies. But in the mid-1960s, times were changing. Jobs would soon have other things on his mind.


 
Copyright © 2012 by Karen Blumenthal


Continues...

Excerpted from Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal Copyright © 2012 by Karen Blumenthal. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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(16)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Steve Jobs

    He was amazing. He thought up things that no one else has. When he was a kid he was a "nerd" but he changed that word from an insult to a compliment. The people who were nerds when they were kids are most likely to be sucsessful in life because of their brains!!!!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Outstanding

    I personally love this book. It teaches you how much hard work it takes to complete a task.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    highly recommended

    straight forward, easy read and filled in the blanks after seeing the movie "Jobs"

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Steve jobs

    Steve Jobs was a man of compasion and hope. Yet he he whiped out the non home computer era, made the iMac, iPhone, iPod, iTouch, iPad, Boom. Jobs rewrote the electronic rule book. All in one life time. But it seems that we all have known him personally, even though there are few that have. He was a trully wonderful man.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Wondeeful

    Very poiniant tale. Definitely worth the read!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Highly recommended.

    Great book and easy to read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    Great biography

    K

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Spanush Spanish

    If u speak spanish great book but i dont. I read the one in english and that was a good book!!!

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    Steve jobs

    Love apple

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    CATERING JOBS

    LIKE MAIDS AND SERVANTS

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    good book

    its a good book

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 26, 2013

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    Posted July 11, 2013

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    Posted November 21, 2013

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    Posted September 9, 2013

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    Posted April 28, 2014

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    Posted July 3, 2013

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    Posted April 14, 2014

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 19 Customer Reviews

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