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Steve Jobs: Insanely Great

by Jessie Hartland

School Library Journal Gr 8 Up-Hartland ably captures the many facets of entrepreneur and innovator Steve Jobs in this graphic biography. Jobs's entire lifespan is here, from his precocious childhood tinkering to his determination to see his final product, the iPad, through before his untimely death. In between, Hartland portrays Jobs in all his geeky, passionate, difficult glory. This work doesn't shy away from Jobs's demanding, perfectionist side, but it also portrays his delight in the "perfect product": an odd mixture that Hartland describes as Jobs's "reality distortion field." Apple is, of course, center stage, and readers will find the graphic representation of the evolution of various Apple products helpful. Hartland also covers Jobs's ouster from Apple in 1985, his development of the NeXT computer, and his work with Pixar. Throughout, panels depicting the latest technology (for instance, color TVs and digital watches in the late 1970s, cordless phones and the Sony Walkman in the 1980s) provide readers with a feel for competing products. The artwork is deceptively simple, at first blush appearing like the doodles of an average teenager, but these loose, expressive illustrations are detailed and convey large amounts of information. VERDICT Luddites and iFans alike should find this volume an illuminating introduction to Jobs's life and the recent history of consumer electronics.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Gr 5-8-A recounting of Jobs's life story is distilled through the context of the technological development that Apple helped advance. Loose and scrabbly artwork with handwritten narration makes the story accessible and informal. Jobs is portrayed as motivated to explore new challenges and readers are encouraged to innovate their own world accordingly. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Harland brings the style of simple drawings paired with easy-to-digest facts she used in her first novel, Bon Appétit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child, to a breezy yet thorough illustrated biography of Apple pioneer Jobs. Beginning with his literal birth and following through the important moments of his life, Harland's take is both engaging and educational, though not especially demanding of the reader. The black and white art is unrefined but pleasant and contributes to the overall tone, which is effortlessly charming without being terribly enlightening or revealing. Harland uses the page layouts to full advantage, with maps, diagrams and call-outs galore. Though it's certainly informative for all ages, some readers will yearn for something with more depth and complexity in its execution, even as they whiz through the Richard-Scarry-for-grown-ups pages. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list Recently, there have been a multitude of biographies about Steve Jobs; author and illustrator Hartland adds to the collection with a unique yet informative look at the subject in this graphic biography. Covering his formative years challenging authority, to his time founding and then re-creating Apple, Hartland explains his life and the technology of his time while not shying away from Jobs' many eccentricities and erratic behaviors. Although there is always a smile drawn on Jobs' face, Hartland shows his many frustrations with technology, his anger toward his coworkers, and his hurt over his eventual cancer diagnosis. But her prose never judges his intentions or motives; she simply states the facts, providing a thorough history of a complex man. Hartland's signature squiggle style and handwritten text create a disarming, intimate view of the subject, as does the lack of any color. Like Job's innovative designs, her approach is sleek and simplistic, covering just what is needed while still standing out from the competition.--Blenski, Peter Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

 

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