Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Steve Jobs: Insanely Great

Hartland, Jessie (Author/Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2015. 228 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780307982957 (hardcover)
9780307982988 (paperback)
9780307982971 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Graphic Text
Book genre: Biography

Text Elements:

layout, multimodal, panel arrangement

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Themes of creativity and nonconformity resonate through this success story, whether Steve is considering retreating fully into Zen studies (at the beginning of his career), or wrestling back control of Apple (near the end).

Quirky black and white artwork and lettering rely on hand-inked effects for a look that is low-tech in the extreme. Narrative comic layouts are interspersed with double-page spreads that offer summaries such as “A [Very] Brief History of the Computer before 1975,”, “PC vs. Apple, circa 1982” and a fun layout of Pixar Animation Studios.

Key moments in Steve’s personal and professional life are conveyed with pithy captions: “[He] is now, at the age of 25, worth over $250 million! However he continues to live simply.” The stressful side of creative genius is also shown, as Steve challenges design prototypes for the iPod. Dialogue bubbles fill panels: “Simplify!” “No on-off switch allowed!” “Tweak it.” “Only three clicks allowed.” “And NOBODY talk about this project outside, or you’re fired!”

In this biography, a fascinating personality is captured in a lighthearted and accessible format. The story ends with inspiring words from Jobs’s Stanford University commencement speech in 2005, as well as his reported last words, on his death in 2011: “Oh, wow…”

  •  

    Advertising and corporate identity played a large role in the early development of Apple. For example, the title refers to the early ads for the first Macintosh computer which was “insanely great.” The groundbreaking “1984” Superbowl ad can serve as an introduction to this corporate culture and its advertising.

  •  

    Another famous Apple advertising slogan is “think different.” In small groups, review the full text of this ad and discuss how these ideas relate to the life of Steve Jobs and to Apple as a corporate entity?

  •  

    Explore other graphic memoirs and identify conventions of these multi-genre texts. Discuss ideas and make notes in a reader-writer notebook for use in future production of graphic memoirs.

  •  Analyze Steve Jobs’ timeline in the front endpapers. In teams, discuss what each icon might say about his life at particular times. Why might the author have chosen this style of timeline?
  •  Create a character map for Steve Jobs. With a partner, identify his character traits and find examples that support your choices.
  •  Who are some other men and women of this millennium who have changed or are changing the world of technology? Write a short graphic biography for one of them.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use information
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Media Literacy
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Science and Technology
  • Visual Arts