What a fascinating story! This vividly-written, gorgeously illustrated picture book biography brings to life the personality and amazing accomplishments of the astonishing 19th century female mathematician who conceived of the idea of computer programming long before there were even computers and is literally the "mother of computer science." I can't wait to share it with my students! -- Carol Simon Levin, Youth Services Librarian and Historical Impersonator of "Fascinating Women History Forgot" "I've been an admirer of Ada Byron Lovelace for years and a book that introduces her to young readers is long overdue. While women are tragically underrepresented in computer science today, the true pioneer of the field was Ada, whose mastery of numbers and determination led to her making a permanent mark. Let's hope that this wonderful book not only delights, but inspires many girls to pursue Ada's ideals." -- Steven Levy, author of Hackers "The story of Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine is a page-turner and will appeal to children, adults, scientists, and non-scientists alike. This book begins to fill the gap in the literature about girls and women in mathematics and computer science. The harmony of thorough research, beautifully written prose, portrayal of theory, practice, romanticism, and passion that accompany the creation of a complex scientific invention were wonderfully woven together, just like the mechanics of the "Thinking Machine" itself. I was reminded of the excitement of becoming a mathematician!" -- Ellen Gethner, professor of computer science and mathematics at the University of Colorado Denver "Meet Ada Byron Lovelace in this fascinating tale of the world's first computer programmer. Beautifully detailed illustrations bring Ada's world to life for young readers." -- Kathy Haug, Association of Children's Librarians of Northern California "This enchanting book brings to vibrant life the biography of Ada Lovelace, a girl who loved numbers and dreamed up the world's first computer program before computers existed. By rescuing Ada's story from the overbearing shadow of her famous father, poet Lord Byron, Laurie Wallmark and April Chu provide a valuable role model for all young women destined to pursue careers in math and science." -- Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity "Two hundred years after her birth in 1815, the world is finally beginning to pay attention to Ada Byron Lovelace, considered by many to be the inventor of computer programming. Computer scientist and debut author Wallmark introduces her subject as a child fascinated by numbers, lucky enough to be born to a geometry-loving mother with the means and inclination to nurture her daughter's talents. She focuses on her subject's adolescence, choosing details that highlight Lovelace's d evelopment as a mathematical genius. The girl sketches models for flying machines, works endless calculations to compute the wings' power--young readers will sympathize as they hear how "writing for so long made her fingers hurt"--and studies a toy boat to see how minute adjustments to its sails affect its speed. A bout of measles that leaves her temporarily blind and paralyzed serves to further hone her brilliance, as her mother drills her with math problems. She is perfectly positioned for her fateful meeting with Charles Babbage, whose proposed Analytical Engine prompts her to write the algorithm (described as "a set of mathematical instructions") that becomes the world's very first computer program. Chu's illustrations, digitally colored in a deep, jewel-toned palette, accompany the lively prose. Lovelace is a Pre-Raphaelite beauty set against a backdrop of teeming Victorian interiors littered with diagrams and pages of figures; children will enjoy spotting the girl's loyal cat. A splendidly inspiring introduction to
Laurie Wallmark has published stories in Highlights, Cricket, and other children's magazines. When not writing, she teaches computer science. Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine is her first book. Visit her blog at lauriewallmark.com. April Chu began her career as an architect with a degree from the University of California, Berkeley, but decided to return to her true passion of illustrating and storytelling. She lives and works in Oakland, California. Her previous book, In a Village by the Sea, is also a Creston title and received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, as well as a rave review from the New York Times and Fuse #8. Learn more about her at aprilchu.com.