02 August, 2015

Breakthrough: how one teen innovator is changing the world by Jack Andraka

If you are like me and enjoy the successes of others, then this is the book for you!

Jack Andraka faced many problems in his young life but nothing could compare to the pressures of high school bullying and a close family friend was dying of cancer. Instead of giving in to the homophobic bullying and the despair, he took another path. He turned to science.

Using his passion for science, Jack decided to try to create a better method of cancer detection, in memory of their family friend. After conducting two years of research and asking hundreds of universities and companies for help, Jack was finally rewarded when one lab agreed to help him. Jack was just 15 when he came up with an affordable early detection test for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer. With this amazing achievement, Jack Andraka won not just science fair awards, but the most coveted and prestigious Gordon E. Moore Award in 2012. The fame that followed led to interviews and audiences with dignitaries ranging from U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, President Obama and Pope Francis!

What I liked the most was Jack’s honesty which came through in this book. Jack writes of his sexuality and the inner turmoil he was going through in an open voice. He maybe an ordinary teenager, but you can tell he is on the path to being something even greater. With every chapter I felt like standing up and cheering him on. It’s very rare to see such courage and determination written down by one so young.

If you are a science geek like Jack, the nifty science experiments included in the back will be something you might like to try!

I would recommend this book to every one of all ages to read, especially teenagers looking for inspiration.


Title: Breakthrough: how one teen innovator is changing the world
Author: Jack Andraka

Recommended by Surani R, Waitakere Central Library, Henderson.

Surani R enjoys reading biographies, travelogues, some non-fiction, and loves fiction that makes you laugh out loud. She also finds comfort in children’s fiction with thought-provoking stories.


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