Another book that has been on my library TBR list for a long time is The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen. All I knew about this book was that it was about a cartographer kid and had a lot of sketches throughout. It is in fact a very complex story that is part travelogue and part memoir.
T.S. Spivet is a twelve-year old map-making genius who lives in Montana. His maps are not just the standard cities, roads and rivers. He maps emotions, sounds and activities as well. He also draws biological diagrams -- which have now gotten him noticed by the Smithsonian. Unaware of his age, they award him the Baird Award which comes with a one year fellowship position in Washington D.C. He feels unappreciated and unloved by his parents so he decides to take off and accept the position. He jumps a freight train and begins the next adventure in his short life -- mapping everything along the way.
I was really torn while reading this book. I wanted to love its quirkiness and some parts of it were interesting. I definitely got caught up in a side plot about T.S.'s great-great-grandmother, a geologist in a time when women were not accepted as scientists. Yet other parts dragged and just seemed to take lengthy detours into the mind of a very strange boy. There were also some bizarre conspiracy-type occurrences and some shocking violence that didn't endear this book to me. There will be some people who love the strangeness of the book but I wasn't totally on board with it. Overall, I think it's an interesting book that tries a little too hard to be different and therein becomes less than it could have been.
Wondering what makes a good scientist,
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