All boys tinker with fire. Oby Brooks holes up in a backyard shed to experiment with napalm recipes. He has a hand in burning down his own house, twice. He can't help it: his very DNA seems made of TNT. Meanwhile, amidst the detonations, Oby's sexuality is up for grabs. Parents, mountain men, chemistry teachers, neighbors, and arson inspectors all try in their own quirky ways to usher Oby into adulthood with his fingers any eyelashes intact. In the end, the question is whether Oby's nature will be nurtured, or neutered. Oh, and, will he land a Nobel Prize?
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)|
|Age Range:||13 Years|
About the Author
Ben was born in 1977 and lives in Reno, Nevada with his wife and two daughters. His writing has appeared in a variety of literary publications and earned a Nevada Arts Council Fellowship and a Sierra Arts Foundation grant. He is the lead author of Nanotechnology: Understanding Small Systems (CRC Press), the first-ever comprehensive college textbook on nanotechnology, now in its 3rd edition, and also Nanotechnology: The Whole Story (CRC Press), a general audience book.
He studied engineering and journalism in college and has a masters degree in mechanical engineering. He’s worked as a business analyst, a newspaper reporter, a teacher, and a scientist at various labs, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (More about this work can be found here.) Since 2004 he has been the Principal Engineer at Nevada Nanotech Systems.
Read an Excerpt
I sensed a figure in my room. Soon another. I was half-awake. The room was dark and warm and I was on my side, against the wall. I drifted off again.
Then there was a light. It swept through the room, probing, its beam a low-battery orange. A few times it shined on my side of the room but it seemed to dwell on the other. I was almost awake but didn’t roll over. I felt like part of a crime scene. Suddenly my closet door slid on its track. There was a gasp.
It was Mom.
Then Dad. He swore.
I rolled over to see Mom’s silhouette in the doorway, her hands on her face. Dad grabbed a pair of my jeans off the floor and started swinging them at something in my closet, as if trying to fend off a rabid animal. My shoebox of baseball cards was on fire. On the shelf below the shoebox was a stack of World magazines, also smoldering. I noticed one issue near the middle of the stack had something lodged inside its pages, pulsing with an intense red color too bright to look at directly. I sat up in bed. Mom was coughing. That’s when I first smelled smoke and looked up to see a thin black cloud pooling against my ceiling. There was more smoke than fire. The flashlight fell to the floor and rolled to a stop with its beam directed out the window and into the cloudy night, summoning superheroes.