Being a genius is a difficult thing. For Theodore Mead Fegley, it has brought him nothing but grief. He started high school at the age of twelve, finished in three years, and started college at the age of fifteen. He has always been younger and smaller than everyone else. And, of course, the victim of taunts, ridicule and pranks for his entire school career. He is thrilled to go to college, where he thinks he will be among equals, learned individuals who will value his intellect. Poor kid, how wrong he is.
To facilitate the brand new start Theodore feels he is getting with college, he starts to go by his middle name, Mead. Unfortunately, the very first day he is reminded, yet again, that he is different from everyone else and does not fit in. Girls are too old for him, he is too young for drinking and partying, he has little in common with other young men on campus. His life is lonely and friendless. His only real friend, his cousin Percy, is off pursuing his dream of baseball glory. Percy sends a constant stream of postcards to Mead, letting him know what is going on in his life. But since Mead has no friends he doesn't really know how to BE one, so he never responds to Percy's postcards.
Mead excels at mathematics and spends his college career working on solving the Riemann Hypothesis, a 150 year old mathematical theory. When Herman, a wealthy and attractive fellow math student, befriends Mead it seems a little strange to him that this guy would want to spend time with him. But Herman offers to help Mead on the Riemann Hypothesis so, against his better judgement, Mead allows himself to go along with Herman's schemes. The results will force Mead to change, come to some important realizations about life and to see his parents and family through new eyes.
With Life After Genius, M. Ann Jacoby has written a wonderful story about the process of growing up. It is not enough to be smart, maturity lies in the ability to put aside your selfish concerns and do what is better for others, both people you love and people you may not like very much. She reminds us all about the discomforts of our school days when all we wanted was to be included, be liked, be part of the "in" crowd. You will fall in love with Mead Fegley, a sweet and awkward boy who learns the most important part of being a man.
If you would like to win a copy of Life After Genius, please leave a comment here with a short note about why you would like to read this book. You will receive two additional entries if you blog about this contest and link back here. One winner will be drawn at random. Contest will run through 11:59 pm eastern time on November 8. Winner must have a mailing address in the US or Canada (no PO Boxes). Make sure you leave an email address if you do not have an ID that contains contact information!
Many, many thanks to Miriam Parker at Hachette Book Group for including me in the Early Birds Blog Tour for this book and for providing the copy for the giveaway!!
Visit M. Ann Jacoby's website here.