By: Matt Doeden
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: January 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 2012
It was 1955 and anyone who had a child born out of wedlock would be frowned upon. Most likely Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah "John" Jandali's child would be ostracized so they made the difficult decision to give their baby up for adoption. A childless couple, one very anxious to take baby Steve, Paul and Clara welcomed him into their family. Young Steve had "a happy and enriching childhood" with a family who loved and cherished him. His mother, realizing his intelligence, "taught Steve to read even before he started school." His father, according to Steve, "spent a lot of time with me, teaching me how to build things, how to take things apart, put things back together." Undoubtedly, Steve Job's early, nurturing family life put him on a path to success.
Steve had little interest in school and was the target of bullies. The family moved and he began to flourish, especially when he found a group of students who also "shared his interest in engineering and electronics." It was during that time Steve made connections with engineers who were actually developing computers at Hewlett-Packard. His bold, inquiring ways opened doors for him and soon he "met fellow computer enthusiast," Steve Wozniak. Another interest, one that was much more objectionable to his father, was an interest in drugs. After he dropped out of college, he brashly approached the Atari offices and demanded to be hired. Amazingly, they took him on and he began working on game designs.
In the back of his mind Steve was always interested in starting his own company and when he ran into Wozniak once again, things began to gel. They dreamed of making a "computer in which a monitor, a keyboard, and a processor were all part of the same unit," one that the average Joe could actually use. This dynamic duo, one who would ultimately part ways, began to struggle to raise cash. Apple Computers was born and within a few short years would begin to flourish. In this book you will learn how Jobs clashed with Wozniak's father and others, the success and failures of the Apple computers, Steve's personal life (including his first daughter, Lisa), the development of the iMac, Pixar, his innovative push of the iPod, iTunes, and the iPad, his fight with cancer, and you'll learn many other facets about the life and work of an amazing man.
The biography is one of high interest and will draw in many young readers from the techies to those who are simply interested in Jobs himself. I liked the conversational style and the photographs, including Steve's high school portrait and one in which the two young Steves are hard at work in Jobs's parents' garage. Although aimed at the juvenile reader from ages 9 to 12, younger independent readers could probably tackle this biography. In the back of the book is an index, a timeline, source notes, a select bibliography, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: This is a marvelous look at Steve Jobs, one of the world's greatest "technology innovators."