Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future: Young Readers Edition by Tina Connolly. January 24, 2017. HarperCollins, 288 p. ISBN: 9780062463289.  Int Lvl: 5-8; Rdg Lvl: 6.6.

An in-depth look into the extraordinary life of the world’s most important entrepreneur, Elon Musk

This fascinating and easily accessible young readers’ adaptation of Ashlee Vance’s New York Times bestselling Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future features black-and-white photographs throughout and an epilogue. The version for adults has been praised as “riveting” (The Financial Times), “spirited” (The Wall Street Journal), and “masterful” (Vice). Now younger readers can read about this innovative leader who is revolutionizing three industries at once: space, automotive, and energy.

There are few people in history who could match Elon Musk’s relentless drive and vision. A modern combination of famous inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Steve Jobs, Elon is the man behind companies such as SpaceX, Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and PayPal that are transforming the way we live.

Written with exclusive access to Elon, his family, and his friends, this book traces Elon’s journey from a kid in South Africa to a young man in the United States, his dramatic technical inventions, and his world-changing companies. Elon has sparked new levels of innovation in the world, and this book gives young readers a detailed but fast-paced look at his story.

Potentially Sensitive Areas: None



Booklist (December 1, 2016 (Vol. 113, No. 7))
Grades 8-11. “I would like to die thinking that humanity has a bright future.” Elon Musk’s view on the world is unlike many others, and this version of the best-selling adult biography cites influences in Musk’s life that led to his work-centered, risk-laden, yet unparalleled success in the fields of space exploration, electric cars, and clean energy. Influences range from his mother’s father, an adventuresome pilot, to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Musk’s childhood featured plenty of reading and dreaming (and the occasional round of Dungeons & Dragons), but also its share of strife: his parents’ divorce; his father’s bullying, which often led to injuries and even hospitalization; and a personality and intellectual gift few truly understood. Today, Musk still deals with people’s skepticism, but his success supersedes his aloof personality and unprecedented ideas. As Vance reports, “It’s Elon’s world, and the rest of us live in it.” An informative and easy-to-follow biography of one of today’s top innovators for young readers.

Kirkus Reviews (November 1, 2016)
Vance slims down his 2015 portrait of an entrepreneur who has made and spent several eye-watering fortunes on the way to restarting our country’s space program and possibly revolutionizing the auto industry.In Vance’s view, Musk, afflicted with that vision thing, has always had his eyes on the prize—not of making bazillions but of providing humanity with the means to move beyond our confinement on a single, fragile planet. He has made bazillions nonetheless. Noting the big payoffs as well as his propensity to follow up compelling promises with scandalously late delivery dates, Vance takes readers through his booms and busts with several enterprises—notably PayPal, Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and what has the potential to shape up to be his grandest triumph of all, SpaceX. Along with views of youth and early geekdom (“It’s remarkable how many things you can get to explode,” Musk recalls), he relates suspenseful accounts of technical and financial crises, conducts tours of Musk’s factories (which are, pointedly, all in the U.S.), and brings his story up to early 2016. Overall, the author offers a picture of a brilliant, driven man: “He almost hypnotizes you,” says an associate. “He gives you the crazy eye, and it’s like, yes, we can get to Mars.” Illustrated with small, rare, dispensable photos. A modern American success story, neither overly earnest nor unreservedly adulatory. (timeline) (Biography. 11-14)

About the Author

Ashlee Vance is an award winning feature writer for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. Vance is also the host of the “Hello World” TV show. Previously, he worked for The New York Times and The Register.

Vance was born in South Africa, grew up in Texas and attended Pomona College. He has spent more than a decade covering the technology industry from San Francisco and is a noted Silicon Valley historian.

His website is www.ashleevance.com.

Around the Web

Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future on Amazon

Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future on Goodreads

Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future on JLG

Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Publisher Page


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