Twelve-year-old Edison Jones is a prodigy with a passion for technology and inventions. Paralyzed from the waist down since the age of five, he hasn’t let his disability slow him down. Then his world changes overnight when his grandfather, a billionaire tech company owner, decides to enroll him in a public school. Algorithms, quantum physics, and digital engineering are easy. Finding his way in the bewildering world of boys and girls his own age is quite another thing . . . the biggest challenge of his life.
What an inspirational book! I absolutely love the clear and positive message, throughout, that one is only truly handicapped by their intelligence and imagination. Our hero, young Edison Jones, doesn’t let the fact that he’s a paraplegic, from the waist down, stop him in his quest to make the world a better place. Despite becoming an orphan at the tender age of five, Edison has experienced just about everything the world has to offer except for one thing – the friendship of his peers. You see, he has never been to public school but thanks to his loving grandfather’s insistence that he enroll for his own good, the young hermit’s life changes in ways that the freshest of all freshmen could have never imagined.
Luckily, Edison Jones learns early, from his junior high school contacts, not to explain everything as if he were speaking with an engineer. Even at my grandmotherly age, I could relate when his new friend, Hondo said “I guess I’m going to have Alexa translate for me when we have these talks. Remember, I’m a kid! Not one of your grandfather’s engineers.” That absolutely genius move on the part of the author Michael Scott Clifton, of explaining engineering and science in simple, yet exciting terms that anyone can understand and even aspire to, makes me imagine that most any teen can and will get excited about the concepts this book presents.
I have to say that I particularly loved the idea of using an anti-grav elevator to transport large payloads into space…to the space station and beyond. What a concept! Magnetic rings that push against each other until the module sitting atop them all reaches the exosphere (which I learned from reading this book – happens to be the 5th and final layer of the earth’s atmosphere). This book has many of my favorite elements of science fiction novels but it turned out to be even better than sci-fi because it falls more into the realm of what I’ll just have to call “super science”.
Engineers and Scientists – the world needs more of them and this book encourages me to believe we will have them – along with a bright and clean energy future. Now, that’s what I call inspirational.