NONFICTION

The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded

illus. by Leland Purvis. 240p. bibliog. notes. Abrams ComicArts. 2016. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781419718939. POP
COPY ISBN
Gr 9 Up—British scientist and mathematician Alan Turing pioneered theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence during the first half of the 20th century. Like many geniuses, he was misunderstood by most of his peers, and he was eventually ostracized because of his sexuality. Regardless, his work was instrumental in ending World War II as well as in revolutionizing computer science. This adaptation uses a pastel palette of watercolors, strong black lines, and dynamic storytelling devices to bring Turing's tale to life. Multiple narratives, including those of Turing, his mother, and several of his colleagues and friends, weave in and out, following Turing from adolescence to the end of his short life. Readers not familiar with the man may be confused by the multiple narrators, who are not clearly identified. Others will enjoy the mystery and putting the puzzle pieces together until a clearer picture of Turing is formed. Teens with math or computer science bent will enjoy this slice of history and will learn about logic and algorithms along the way. Those who are interested in social justice and LBGTQ rights will also be engaged.
VERDICT While this graphic novel will appeal to a broad range of readers, the technical language describing Turing's work may dissuade some. An additional, although worthwhile, purchase.

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