It's always the little things / Small notions lost to the complex mind because of their innate simplicity/ Ideas beating on the subconscious like sand grains depositing themselves on shores until some kid scoops them up and notices/ That it is not just some gritty mortar muck.../ It's also something smaller...simpler.../ You have to see the big picture to build a sand castle/ But you have to appreciate the small picture to understand the sand./ I was always pretty smart.
Ted is a physicist near the midpoint of his career. His job is in jeopardy unless he can come through with a breakthrough in his research soon. When he finds out that his senile father-in-law worked as an MP and that Albert Einstein confided in him about some ideas he was working on, Ted sees a solution. All he has to do is get the information out of his hostile and incoherent father-in-law. Somewhere along the way, though, Ted begins to ask himself what it is he wants out of life.
Why should I read this book?
Often graphic novels resist categorization. I cannot tell you whether this one counts as a YA book or whether it is only intended for adult audiences. There are some frank discussions of sexuality, puberty, impotence, and it is probably not suited for study in a high school classroom. Nor is it necessarily the sort of book that you wold find yourself recommending to a wide swath of students. But here is the thing: in spite of all of Ted's flailing attempts to make the life of a college physics researcher work for him -- in site of the ways he is neglecting his wife and children in pursuit of the fame of making a really big discovery -- in the end he finally figures out what is really important. And the final six pages or so are worth the price of the book. This is the sort of book that might easily be challenged -- for all the wrong reasons.
Who is this book best for?
I think it might be a very good book for high school seniors trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Read it first, though.
Challenge Rating: Potential Challenge
There are some frank discussions of sexuality, puberty, impotence, and it is probably not suited for study in a high school classroom.
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