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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 03/2016
  • 9780997162509
  • 354 pages
  • $22.99
Hardcover Book Details
  • 03/2016
  • 9780997162561
  • 420 pages
  • $34.99
Laura Bartnick
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Mister B: Living with a 98-Year-Old Rocket Scientist
A. Lynn Byk, Author

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

In this 2016 Pinnacle Award Winner, Joseph Byk begins school in rope-tied-baggy-pants-poverty. He is every teachers’ dreaded student. Ending his senior year at Woonsocket High, however, he begs a high school counselor to help him make up deficiencies in his math education. Why? Because Joseph aspires to design vehicles that defy gravity. Mister B eventually helps design the space shuttle Gemini, the first moon landing gear.
Reviews
Media Literacy Special LibrarianSue Lockwood Summers

Mister B, in essence, is a window into a year in the life of a retired aeronautics engineer and his recalcitrant caregiver. From the Preface, I was pulled into  a possible world of aging where intellectual and physical adventures get bolted, welded together, by the entry of a new dynamic relationship.

Using present tense dialogue, Lynn Byk allows a reader to feel privy to a hidden, Polish-immigrant history, and to the ambitions of a man who found his way up the ladder. As the individuals step into life together, Mr. B’s sacrifices and compromises of old-age make a way for his story to be recorded. Warning! Non-politically correct decisions and a fascinating past reveal both regret and satisfaction.

Using present tense dialogue, Lynn Byk allows a reader to feel privy to a hidden, Polish-immigrant history, and to the ambitions of a man who found his way up the ladder. As the individuals step into life together, Mr. B’s sacrifices and compromises of old-age make a way for his story to be recorded. Warning! Non-politically correct decisions and a fascinating past reveal both regret and satisfaction.

The author has masterfully detailed her father-in-law’s self-made career, his pointed playfulness, and his energy into the stories that tumble out with dinner recipes and  breakfasts making me remember why I also love to linger over a meal in the company of a great mind.

As the author, – who is the chief’s cook, chauffeur, and companion, – oversees Mister B’s daily rituals, driving him all over town to doctor appointments, the library, and lunch outings, I felt like a passenger in the back seat, admiring Mr. B, his penchants, personality, and passions.

Lynn Byk has made Mr. B’s Rhode Island background come alive with the architecture of his descriptions. His college life in the swamps of Alabama and how he later proved his scientific expertise fascinated me on many levels.

If you ever wondered what the aerospace engineers were up to during WWII and the cold war, read the quick and intelligent thoughts coming from the quirky mind of Mr. B– at age 98!  As the months in the story pass, we learn of a mathematically gifted and dedicated engineer who was truly in the thick of the rocket industry during exciting times.

Take time to revel in this multi-generational account of daily life, where mutual respect becomes the strong, new material that stands up to the stressors of getting older.

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 03/2016
  • 9780997162509
  • 354 pages
  • $22.99
Hardcover Book Details
  • 03/2016
  • 9780997162561
  • 420 pages
  • $34.99

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