TS Spivet is a mapmaker from Montana; a genius whose first person narrative can't be linear, as a mind so interesting can only be charted when accompanied by marginal annotations: anecdotes, maps and drawings.
The story revolves around his journey to Washington, to take up an honorary position at the Smithsonian Institute, offered – clearly – by musty scientists who are entirely unaware of the fact that TS is only 12 years old.
He journeys across the States to reach the award dinner and plunges into a world of TV, tuxedos and secret society membership, leaving his quirky family (his Dad, TE, an old-style cowboy, his mad scientist mother, deeply bemused older sister Gracie and the ghost of his younger brother Layton.)
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