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This story of a child prodigy and his unique upbringing is “an engrossing journey to the outer realms of science and parenting” (Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish).
A PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award Finalist
Like many young children, Taylor Wilson dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Only Wilson mastered the science of rocket propulsion by the age of nine. When he was eleven, he tried to cure his grandmother’s cancer—and discovered new ways to produce medical isotopes. Then, at fourteen, Wilson became the youngest person in history to achieve nuclear fusion, building a 500-million-degree reactor—in his parents’ garage.
In The Boy Who Played with Fusion, science journalist Tom Clynes narrates Wilson’s extraordinary story. Born in Texarkana, Arkansas, Wilson quickly displayed an advanced intellect. Recognizing their son’s abilities and the limitations of their local schools, his parents took a bold leap and moved the family to Reno, Nevada. There, Wilson could attend a unique public high school created specifically for academic superstars. Wilson is now designing devices to prevent terrorists from shipping radioactive material and inspiring a new generation to take on the challenges of science.
If you’re wondering how someone so young can achieve so much, The Boy Who Played with Fusion has the answer. Along the way, Clynes’ narrative teaches parents, teachers, and society how and why we urgently need to support high-achieving kids.
“An essential contribution to our understanding of the most important underlying questions about the development of giftedness, talent, creativity, and intelligence.” —Psychology Today
“A compelling study of the thrills—and burdens—of being born with an alpha intellect.” —Financial Times