Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer

illus. by Jessie Hartland. 40p. bibliog. chron. glossary. S. & S./Paula Wiseman. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481452496.
Gr 3–5—Beginning with "Long, long ago," this title is a colorful, storylike take on Ada Lovelace and her ingenuity. The text frames young Lovelace as a curious though lonely child straddling a stern mother and absent father. ("Ada's parents were as different as chalk and cheese.") The narrative follows Lovelace's life from childhood through adulthood. Highlights include an influential visit to a factory, Lovelace's chance meeting and friendship with Charles Babbage, and her meticulous, step-by-step detail of how to code the numbers of the Bernoulli. The illustrations, done in gouache, are wildly imaginative and portray Lovelace as full of undulating energy and creativity. The ending spread shows Lovelace flying over a futurelike cityscape with billboards littered with contemporary technology references (the Apple logo). The text briefly touches upon such topics as the Industrial Revolution, though students will likely crave more information on the time period.
VERDICT Great for read-alouds and lesson plans on coding.

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