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Spare Parts


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Four Mexican American students, two great teachers, one robot-building contest . . . and a major motion picture starring Marisa Tomei and Jamie Lee Curtis.

About the Author

Joshua Davis has been a contributing editor at Wired for a decade and is the cofounder of Epic magazine (www.epicmagazine.com). He is the author of The Underdog, a memoir about his experi- ences as an arm wrestler, backward runner, and matador. In 2014, his work for Wired was nominated for a National Magazine Award for feature writing. He has also written for The New Yorker and other periodicals, and his writing is anthologized in the 2012 edition of Best American Science and Nature Writing, as well as in the 2006, 2007, and 2009 editions of Best Technology Writing. The movie Spare Parts is based on his reporting. He lives in San Francisco with his family.


"Perhaps the most gripping popular-science book I have read." --Noel Sharkey, Nature "A great feel-good tale of scrappy underdogs beating long odds. But there's more to the story, and Spare Parts illuminates the human side of two polarizing political issues: immigration and education . . . Spare Parts is a delightful book . . . A great American story." --Peter Carlson, The Washington Post "Spare Parts is an unforgettable tale of hope and human ingenuity. Against a backdrop of urban desert decay, a faltering school system, and our country's cutthroat immigration policies, Joshua Davis offers a moving testament to how teamwork, perseverance, and a few good teachers can lift up and empower even the humblest among us." --Hector Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark "It's the most American of stories: how determination and ingenuity can bring triumph over long odds. There are too few stories like these written about Latino students. Poignant and beautifully told, Spare Parts makes you feel their frustration at the obstacles and indignities faced by Cristian, Lorenzo, Luis, and Oscar--and to cheer as they rise to overcome each one of them. " --Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique's Journey "Spare Parts is one of those rare stories that grabs hold and doesn't let go. It's hilarious, sad, and beautifully told. It will make you think hard about what it means to be American and where we will find the next generation of talent." --Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail "This is hands down my favorite kind of story: underdogs plus ingenuity plus pluck and dedication equals a deeply moving and touching narraitive. I love these kids!" --Adam Savage, cohost of MythBusterst "This is important reading." --Booklist (starred review)

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