Narrator: Will Damron
Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
Published by Perfection Learning on December 2nd 2014
Buy on Amazon
Four undocumented Mexican American students, two great teachers, one robot-building contest . . . and a major motion picture In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much--but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot. And build a robot they did. Their robot wasn't pretty, especially compared to those of the competition. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition--and yet, against all odds . . . they won! But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story--which became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement--will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan. Joshua Davis's "Spare Parts "is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country--even as the country tried to kick them out.
Spare Parts wasn’t even on my radar until I recently received an email from Goodreads that it was on sale and I might be interested. I have to say Goodreads, you were right. Now, if you have followed my blog for a while you know that I rarely read Nonfiction but for whatever reason I wanted to read this and I’m so glad that I did.
This book was inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time.
About Spare Parts
It follows the story of Oscar, Lorenzo, Cristian and Luis. They were all born in Mexico but immigrated to the US illegally as young children. The story gives you a bit of a background about the boys and why the immigrated to the US. It also shows their different personalities and despite their differences they were able to come together and build a robot with $1,000 each out of basically spare parts. It was amazing to have two teachers and four undocumented teens win a competition against a school like MIT. It showed me that when you are willing to work together as a team despite your circumstances then you might very accomplish the goals you set out for yourself.
I also liked the fact that the story brought up the important issue of immigration. I had heard of the Dream or the beginning of the Dream act and how many times Republicans blocked it. I was about 13 when this story took place so I didn’t know a lot of the information provided in the book. It was pretty eye opening for me and I felt like even though the story took place in 2004 it still holds true today.
The Narrator was Will Damron. He had an interesting voice but I found myself losing focus throughout the story but I could blame that on the parts that discussed the actual robot. I personally know nothing about robotics so that was a bit over my head.
I’m pretty excited to watch the movie. I didn’t even know there was a movie but I can watch it with my Prime membership. I am disappointed that I didn’t know about this story sooner but I am glad that I read the book and that it has inspired me to look more into reading nonfiction.
* just a FYI it does talk about the film at the end and does talk about the difference that were made from the actual events to the film. *