Non-Newbery: Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

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VERDICT: Treasure

Laurinda’s Rating: 5/5

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine is a delightful illustrated biography of Ada Lovelace. Lovelace is often considered the first computer programmer. This title focuses primarily on her early years. Ada’s mother was surprisingly supportive of her strong interest in math and science, obtaining some of the best tutors possible. It was also striking how Ada used the real world as inspiration, learning and making scientific leaps through observation and analysis. As Ada grew older, she was given the opportunity to interact with some of the leading mathematicians of her day, including Charles Babbage. She collaborated with Babbage, who had created the Analytical Engine, a very early multi-purpose computer. Ada wrote an algorithm for the Engine, which, when tested many years later, worked nearly flawlessly.

Besides being a beautiful book, this would be a great read-together book for young kids. Ada gets to play in the mud and do lots of other fun things, but learns a lot while doing it. She runs with what she is interested in and dives deeply into the subjects she cares about, even if they weren’t considered appropriate for a girl. I loved this title and would recommend it to just about anyone.

 

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