Breakthrough is a YA autobiography about Jack Andraka, an innovator who created a strip of paper capable of detecting cancers 400 times more effective than the testing before. When Jack's uncle dies of pancreatic cancer due to not catching it early enough, Jack decides to invent a way to detect cancer earlier. At 15 years old he does it. He makes a strip of paper that detects multiple types of cancer, generating media attention from all over the world. His story was not easy. He tells how he overcame the horrifying homophobic bullying, depression, and all the rejections and doubt. He urges kids to make themselves be heard and to chase after their dreams. Jack was only 18 when his book was published.
The thing I loved most about this nonfiction book was the 50 or so pages in the end. They contained 10 science experiments that are simple and fun to do, as well as tricks for math problems. He also included information on bullying, LGBTQ issues, and Open Access programs.
I learned a lot by reading this book. I learned more about cancer and proteins just by reading the book. Breakthrough is very educational in teaching about math and science. I also learned a math trick about dividing long numbers by nine! The book is very inspirational. The message that Jack teaches is that you can do anything if you set your mind to it. The amount of bullying that Jack received was mind blowing! The teachers were even mean to him about his sexuality. This book teaches people not to judge somebody and that words and actions hurt.
The reading level is middle grade, but due to some of the content and language, this book is more for YA readers. I highly recommend that you read this book!
Title: Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator Is Changing the World
Author: Jack Andraka with Matthew Lysiak
Pages: 256 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars