Thursday, 18 May 2017

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark

We are delighted to share a new book Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark here on Tech Age Kids.

We've previously reviewed Laurie's story about Ada Lovelace in Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine and absolutely loved it.

This new book is just as compelling and we invite you to take a closer look.

About The Book

Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader AND rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code tells the riveting story of a trailblazing woman.

Grace Hopper coined the term computer bug and taught computers to speak English. Throughout her life, Hopper succeeded in doing what no one had ever done before. Delighting in difficult ideas and in defying expectations, the insatiably curious Hopper truly was Amazing Grace . . . and a role model for science- and math-minded girls and boys.

With a wealth of witty quotes, and richly detailed illustrations, this book brings Hopper's incredible accomplishments to life.


I loved reading the story of Grace Hopper. She was an incredibly determined young lady and her story inspires me to continue to teach my own kids resilience and curiosity in everything they do.

Since Grace Hopper was such an amazing pioneer in computer science, we asked Laurie a couple of questions about learning from historical tech innovators and how to get more girls interested in computer programming. Here's what she's had to say:

"Why is it important for children to learn about tech innovators from history?"

A biography of a person still living is, by definition, incomplete. The subject’s most significant accomplishment might lie in the future. For example, if a biography of Marie Curie had been written in 1904, it would probably be all about the Nobel Prize she won in physics in 1903. A child reading only this book would never know that Curie won a second Nobel Prize in 1911, this time in chemistry. 

When a child reads a biography of a historical figure, she gets a picture of the person’s entire life. To continue with the example above, an author still might want to concentrate on Curie’s contributions to physics. Without a doubt though, that author would also acknowledge Curie’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry in some way.

This’s not to say we should wait to write biographies of people until after they die. Rather, in these cases, it’s important to make it clear to the reader that the person may continue to make contributions that aren’t covered in the book. That way, the child knows to also read a later biography.

"What do you think is the most effective way to get more girls interested in computer science?"

The best way to get girls (and boys!) interested in computer science is to show them how much fun programming can be. The Hour of Code program is a good place to start. From Frozen to Star Wars, Moana to Minecraft, there’s an Hour of Code tutorial that will capture a child’s interest in a fun, no-pressure environment. When I’ve conducted Hour of Code workshops for children, you can see their eyes light up with excitement and pride at being able to write a program. Not all children need to grow up to be computer scientists, but in our increasingly technological world, everyone needs to be computer literate.

We extend a big thanks to Laurie for stopping by Tech Age Kids and introducing us to the story of Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code
Now Available on Amazon US and coming to Amazon UK 7 June.

About Laurie Wallmark

Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark’s debut picture book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston Books, 2015), received four starred trade reviews (Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal) and several national awards, including Outstanding Science Trade Book and the Eureka Award. It is a Cook Prize Honor Book. Her recently released picture book biography, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code (Sterling Children’s Books, 2017), earned a Kirkus star and was well-reviewed in several trade journals. Laurie has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. When not writing, she teaches computer science at Raritan Valley Community College. Her

Click here to join Laurie as she travels from blog to blog to introduce her picture book biography, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code.


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