[Nonfiction Wednesday] Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science

Fats here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2017 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year.

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Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer

Writer: Diane Stanley
Illustrator: Jessie Hartland
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2016)
ISBN-10: 1481452495
ISBN-13: 978-1481452496

Summary: Two hundred years ago, a daughter was born to the famous poet Lord Byron and his mathematical wife, Annabella. Like her father, Ada had a strong imagination and a gift for connecting ideas in original ways. Like her mother, she had a passion for science, math, and machines. It was a very good combination. Ada hoped that one day she could do something meaningful with her beautiful mind. ♦

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Diane Stanley and Jessie Hartland join forces as they tell the story of little-known Ada Lovelace who would later be recognized as the first computer programmer. The book began on a cold winter day, and readers were introduced to a lonely and bored young girl named Ada.

Born to a poet and a mathematician, Ada was good at imagining things. Because of her interest in flying, Ada wrote a book and called it Flyology. It contained ideas about her flying project, complete with description and diagrams.

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When Ada turned seventeen, she went with her mother for the summer social in London. Everyone knew she was Lord Byron’s daughter. Everyone was so eager to meet her. But Ada did not care about fashion or gossip. She preferred the people in Charles Babbage’s party who talked about wide-ranging topics: astronomy, art, literature, and engineering.

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The friendship that formed between Ada Byron and Charles Babbage became one of the most remarkable friendships in science. Even after she married a wealthy aristocrat named William, who later became Earl of Lovelace, and had two children with him, Ada pursued her dream. Ada was a major contributor to Charles Babbage and his Analytical Engine.

Stanley and Hartland offered so many details about Ada Lovelace in this charming picturebook biography. It’s amazing how much of her life was covered in so few pages. For an alternative PB biography on Ada Lovelace, check out Myra’s review on Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robinson. ♦

  1. I’ve read the other picture book about Ada, but not this one. Fascinating story about her support for her passion and the connection to Babbage. Thanks, Fats.

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  2. I love that title “poet of science” – so often we separate arts and sciences, left brain and right brain, with the implication that children have to pick one stream or area of interest over another. But the arts and sciences are intricately linked,and students shouldn’t have to pick a love of astronomy over a passion for music! 🙂

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  3. I just read this book this week. While I liked it, I didn’t have the love for it that many other people have. Could be that I don’t get a lot of the math parts 😉

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  4. This sounds like a great book! 🙂

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  5. I’d been meaning to do a blog post about all the Ada Lovelace picture books. There’s at least three so far if I remember correctly.

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