App Kid: How a Child of Immigrants Grabbed a Piece of the American Dream

Knopf. Sept. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9780525656197. $27. MEMOIR
Sayman, the son of Peruvian and Bolivian immigrants in Miami, describes becoming a successful app entrepreneur, product designer, and software engineer at a young age and being heralded as the “Boy Genius of Apple.” After teaching himself to code using Google, Sayman launched his first app for iPhone when he was only 13 and quickly started earning $10,000 per month from app store downloads; his first relatively sudden success helped save his family’s restaurant from financial failure in the wake of the 2008 recession. Sayman soon created, among other apps, a photo-based game that eventually caught the attention of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. He met with Zuckerberg and landed a highly prized internship at Facebook at only 17; it turned into a six-figure full-time job as the company’s youngest ever engineer. Sayman describes cultivating relationships and actively pursuing mentorships in Silicon Valley to learn as much as he could about the industry; his savvy eventually landed him his dream job at Google at the age of 21.
VERDICT Sayman has an inspirational story that will inspire and fascinate many readers, especially those interested in technology and coding. This accessible, personal account is sure to be popular and should have YA crossover appeal.
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