Ada loved to dream up new ideas even when those she cared about didn’t agree with her. Then one day she met a man and she would be inspired to create something entirely new.
Title: Ada Lovelace
Series: Little People, Big Dreams
Author: Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrator: Zafouko Yamamoto
ISBN: 9781786030764 Language: English
Themes: goals, mathematics, technology, inventors
What’s it about?
This is the story of a woman many have never heard of – Ada Lovelace. Ada, daughter of Lord Byron, dreams of things people have never heard of and embraces reading and mathematics. As she gets older she falls ill with the measles but recovers to meet Charles Babbage. She uses her love of mathematics to create the coding to make a calculator work but it becomes the first stepping stone on the path to the very first computer.
This simplistically worded book gets a lot of factual information across with very little effort. The biography is in chronological order and contains enough details to get a sense of Ada and her accomplishments. The illustrations are quirky and manage to be more engaging than I thought.
Nope, nothing to see here.
I admit it – I saw the cover and thought “Hmm, not liking the cover”! It’s a given that on so many occasions we do judge a book by its cover and on this occasion I’m glad I read the book anyway! I honestly thought that this was going to be another biography with too many details, not enough engagement – and dare I say I thought the illustration on the cover was odd. As I started reading the book though, with the little knowledge I had about Ada, I begin to actually like the quirkiness of the illustrations – they were fun, engaging (gotta love the cat!)
This is a great book on many levels for classroom use.
First, accessibility. With children’s ability levels all over the place it can be really difficult for a teacher to find a text that all students can use. This book however manages to balance simplicity without the babyish overtones that could have derailed it. A student with learning needs – particularly in reading – would still be able to manage this book in the junior primary grades.
Secondly, as a kickstarter. For more confident readers this book would merely be the hook to get them interested in learning more and this is a great asset of the book – to inspire. There is a list of recommended books at the end that would complement this one to encourage further reading about Ada.
With a growing focus on STEM/STEAM this book also works as a cross-curricular resource. Discussions about how did the first computer come back prior to reading this book would be interesting to hear. Having students consider what types of technology development led to the development of what we rely on as a society today would help make real-life connections.
Thoroughly enjoyed the book – I’m off to search for the rest of the series!
Special thanks to Quarto Publishing Group – Frances Lincoln Childrens
and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of the book.