“Ada loved numbers and solving problems.”
In this brief but informative early biography, originally published in German in Switzerland, young listeners and readers are introduced to the amazing Ada Byron Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer. “Now, Ada might look like an ordinary little girl,” the tale begins, “but the truth is Ada changed the world.” Paired with colorful, geometrically stylized illustrations, the clear, straightforward text succinctly describes Ada’s unusual childhood as the daughter of Lord Byron. Ada had a privileged upbringing, in part because her mother rejected the commonly accepted idea that girls were fit primarily for wifely duties and arranged for experts to serve as Ada’s tutors. This group included Charles Babbage, an inventor and mathematician who created a machine to count numbers. Excited by the idea, Ada immediately set to work, essentially creating code to provide instructions for this fledgling computer to solve other sorts of problems. An impressively balanced mix of engaging description and important facts with a quick explanation of the gender politics of the time and information about Ada’s legacy, this appealing volume is a great way to introduce coding and computers as well as the lack of notice women’s accomplishments are too often shown.
Inspiring, feminist, and informative in equal parts. (Picture book/biography. 5-10)