NONFICTION

Elon Musk: A Mission To Save the World

Feiwel & Friends. Jul. 2019. 256p. bibliog. photos. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250313621.
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Gr 7 Up–Fifteen chapters chronicle the life of Elon Musk, credited with inventing online banking (PayPal), perfecting the electric car (Tesla), and developing a way for humans to travel to Mars (SpaceX). Musk grew up in South Africa and was bullied for being a geek. His brilliance in math and physics spurred him to make his mark on technology. After moving to Canada and briefly attending Queen’s University, Musk came to the United States. Eventually, he settled in Silicon Valley. He continued to develop businesses primed for saving the human race by eliminating oil dependency. The book focuses on Musk’s ability to surmount difficulties and compares his life with Marvel superhero Tony Stark. No matter how many times SpaceX’s rocket fails to launch, or Tesla is late to meet its sales goals, he does not give up. Descriptions of his breakthroughs, such as developing a rocket that can return to Earth, are exciting. While the book does have its strengths, the author tries too hard to appeal to her teen audience by writing in a conversational voice. She also presents an overall positive, flattering portrayal of Musk without conducting a deep dive into public criticisms of his personal character and/or business dealings. Most of the quotes are directly from the book’s subject.
VERDICT The author gives an informative but slightly skewed cheerleader’s view of the innovator and entrepreneur. This could be useful for research due to the source notes and bibliography

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