GRACE HOPPER

QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE

Grace Hopper was a pioneer in computer programming whose accomplishments have had lasting influence.

A breezy introductory verse names some of Hopper’s most notable characteristics, including “Rule breaker. / Chance taker. / Troublemaker.” A prose narrative takes over, explaining how from early childhood she was fascinated by how things worked, disassembling clocks and creating a dollhouse elevator. Fortunately the white girl had parents who supported her talents at a time when women were not encouraged to attain higher learning, especially in math and science. When the country entered World War II, she enlisted in the WAVES, the women’s division of the Naval Reserve, overcoming age and weight restrictions. She worked on programs for the earliest computers and for each more complicated machine that followed, solving complex problems and eventually revolutionizing the use of word commands to replace the binary system. She is credited with first using the term “bug” to describe a computer glitch; she discovered that a moth had caused a computer to break down. She eventually became an admiral and remained in the Navy until she was 80. Wallmark’s tone is admiring, even awestruck, describing Hopper’s skill, inventiveness, and strength of character in straightforward, accessible language, introducing a neglected heroine to a new generation of readers. Wu’s strong, bright digital illustrations perfectly complement the text while incorporating Hopper’s own words in a variety of bold, eye-catching pull quotes scattered throughout the pages.

Amazing Grace indeed. (timeline, bibliography, list of honors) (Picture book/ biography. 7-12)

Pub Date: May 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2000-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph.

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WISHTREE

Generations of human and animal families grow and change, seen from the point of view of the red oak Wishing Tree that shelters them all.

Most trees are introverts at heart. So says Red, who is over 200 years old and should know. Not to mention that they have complicated relationships with humans. But this tree also has perspective on its animal friends and people who live within its purview—not just witnessing, but ultimately telling the tales of young people coming to this country alone or with family. An Irish woman named Maeve is the first, and a young 10-year-old Muslim girl named Samar is the most recent. Red becomes the repository for generations of wishes; this includes both observing Samar’s longing wish and sporting the hurtful word that another young person carves into their bark as a protest to Samar’s family’s presence. (Red is monoecious, they explain, with both male and female flowers.) Newbery medalist Applegate succeeds at interweaving an immigrant story with an animated natural world and having it all make sense. As Red observes, animals compete for resources just as humans do, and nature is not always pretty or fair or kind. This swiftly moving yet contemplative read is great for early middle grade, reluctant or tentative readers, or precocious younger students.

A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-04322-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

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    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Newbery Honor Book

  • Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner

  • National Book Award Winner

BROWN GIRL DREAMING

A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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