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UP CLOSE: BILL GATES by Marc Aronson Kirkus Star

UP CLOSE: BILL GATES

By Marc Aronson

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-06348-2
Publisher: Viking

Think you already know everything about Bill Gates? Or that you don’t really care to know anything? Either way, Aronson’s inventive approach will change your mind. His foreword addresses readers directly, acknowledging the difficulty of creating a biography about such a well-known figure that will appeal to teen readers. His decision to structure the book as a kind of how-to manual—detailing how Gates got so rich and suggesting that similar initiative could pay off for the reader—is inspired, and his conversational style is engaging. This offbeat method of explication allows Aronson to cover both the basics (childhood, family, education, entrepreneurship) and the big picture (what enabled Gates to succeed so spectacularly? what drives him to give away so much of the money he’s earned?). Black-and-white photographs, particularly those showing Gates as a young man, will help readers relate, while discussion of the spectacular successes and perceived flaws of both Gates and Microsoft encourages readers to form their own opinions. Well-conceived and totally intriguing, even for technophobes. (notes, bibliography, index) (Biography. 12 & up)