Breakthrough by Jack Andraka

This week’s post is a young adult title I found truly inspiring. It features the story of one teenage scientist called Jack Andraka. Yes, he really is a scientist, and a brilliant one at that! So if I have piqued your interest, read on!

Breakthrough Jack Andraka teen bio photo of author smiling
Inspirational teen biography

Title: Breakthrough: how one teen innovator is changing the world

Author: Jack Andraka, Matthew Lysiak

Publication details: Harper Collins; NY, 2015

ISBN: 9780062369673

What this book is aboutWhen Jack Andraka was thirteen, he had a whole pile of problems at his feet waiting for a solution. An outsider at school, he knew he didn’t fit in – and a close family friend was dying of cancer. But instead of giving in to the bullying and the despair, he took another path. Using his passion for science, he decided to try to create a better method of cancer detection. After conducting two years of research and asking hundreds of universities and companies for help, and to no avail, Jack was finally able to secure the lab space necessary to test out his ingenious idea. In the end, he did it. Jack’s early detection test for pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers has the potential to be over four-hundred times more effective than the medical standard – and it costs only three cents per use. Jack was just fifteen at the time he came up with his solution. Jack Andraka’s story is not just one of inspiring teenage success; it is a story of overcoming depression and homophobic bullying, and of finding the resilience to persevere.

My review: Something about this book spoke to me well before I had even read it. Once I had started I found I had stumbled into a truly inspirational young man’s story. Sheer determination and perseverance got Jack the results he craved for and the ultimate prize!! For someone so young to have come up with an early detection test for pancreatic cancer is an astonishing achievement that most reputed doctors and scientists work a lifetime to achieve. I applauded Jack with every science fair he won that led to the final Gordon E. Moore Award in 2012. The fame that followed led to many interviews and audiences with distinguished leaders and icons of today.

The writing in this memoir is truly unique and honest. It takes a lot of courage to go through the things that Jack had to and come out the other end with such a clear goal in mind. Truly amazing young man!! He can only achieve more greatness!!

For those who love science, there are also some cool experiments at the end to try at home. If you are looking for a book with a difference, then try this one!!

My rating: 5 ⭐

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