No one suspected that an actress would create a groundbreaking technology….
From childhood, Hedwig Kiesler had two interests: the way things worked and the way people acted. Straightforward text coupled with engaging full-page and spot illustrations made primarily with paper collage tells the eventful story of the girl who would become Hedy Lamarr. The account moves chronologically from her curiosity as a child living in poverty-stricken Austria through her development as an actress, her fledgling attempts at invention, and her escape from an unhappy marriage to America to her support of Allied troops during World War II and her continued interest in science and new ideas. Hedy’s co-creation of frequency hopping—a technology still used widely in missiles, microwaves, software, and cellphones—is shown to be a major accomplishment even though it was not recognized as such until many years later. Although there is insufficient contextualization of how her opportunities may have been limited by gender roles of the time, this is a clear and interesting portrait, and Hedy is portrayed as a strong, intelligent woman full of talent and innovation and is sure to provide young readers with inspiration and encouragement to investigate new ideas of their own. Divided into chapters, the book has lengthier text than the simultaneously publishing picture-book biography Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life, by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu.
A solid, factual addition to the STEM and notable-women shelves. (Biography. 7-12)