Read A Likes
If you enjoyed Spare Parts, you may enjoy these books too.
Joshua Davis Books
Davis was once the fourth-ranked lightweight arm wrestler in the U.S. Of course, there were only three other competitors in his weight class, but still. He won a trophy, and he didn't get a broken arm. Davis, a data-entry clerk in San Francisco, hit upon the arm-wrestling scheme as a way to win enough money to buy his wife a new bathtub, but it launched an obsession with finding and then competing in steadily more demanding and outrageous contests. A short list: he participates in a backward-running race in Italy; he sumo-wrestles a 500-pound man in Japan; he hunkers down for the Sauna World Championships (How much steam can you take?). Ultimately, Davis contends that the nature of the competition doesn't matter; it's the act of competing, the comparing of strengths and weaknesses, that gives us what we crave: the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
Books About Underdogs
Will Tyler may not be the biggest running back around, but no one can touch him when it comes to hitting the hole and finding the end zone. And no one can match his love of the game. When Will has a football in his hand, life can't touch him - his dad isn't so defeated, his town isn't so poor, and everyone has something to cheer for. All of which does him no good if the football season is canceled. With no funding for things like uniforms and a well-maintained playing field, with every other family moving to find jobs, there just isn't enough money or players for a season. It's up to Will to rally the town and give everyone a reason to believe.
Moment of Glory: The Year Underdogs Ruled Golf
In 2003, after winning six of the twelve majors from 2000 to 2002, Tiger Woods struggled with his swing, leaving him lagging behind the field at both the US Open and the PGA Championship. With Woods out of the picture, the stage was set for a newcomer to claim the top position. Nobody expected that four virtually unknown players would rise to become first-time champions.
Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a pebble and a sling - and ever since, the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won. Or should he?
Books about Immigration
The 50% American
The United States is the only nation in the world that allows its citizens to hold one or more foreign citizenships, vote in another nation's elections, run for or be appointed to office in another country, and join the armed forces even of a nation with interests hostile to those of the US while retaining their citizenship. These policies reinforce the often already strong emotional, political, and economic ties today's immigrants retain to their home countries. This book explores the political and national ramifications of personal loyalties.
Enrique's Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers.
Books about Robots and STEM
Steel: And Other Stories
Imagine a future in which the sport of boxing has gone high-tech. Human boxers have been replaced by massive humanoid robots. And former champions of flesh-and-blood are obsolete... Steel is just one of over a dozen unforgettable tales in this outstanding collection, which includes two new stories that have never appeared in any previous Matheson collection.
Alan Turing: The Enigma
It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades - all before his suicide at age forty-one. This NYT bestselling biography of the founder of computer science is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life.
By the age of nine, Taylor Wilson had mastered the science of rocket propulsion. At eleven, his grandmother's cancer diagnosis drove him to investigate new ways to produce medical isotopes. And by fourteen, Wilson had built a 500-million-degree reactor and become the youngest person in history to achieve nuclear fusion. How could someone so young achieve so much, and what can Wilson's story teach parents and teachers about how to support high-achieving kids?