Cover of Grace Hopper Queen of Computer Code shows a woman fiddling with an early computerGrace Hopper Queen of Computer Code celebrates the life of one of the pioneers of computer programming. The book is structured like a pearl necklace–it’s made up of a series of discrete anecdotes, strung together in roughly chronological order. Each anecdote tells us a bit about Grace Hopper’s character, but each basically also stands on its own. We read about the way she destroyed alarm clocks as a child in order to figure out how they worked, about her invention of a dollhouse elevator, about her conquering learning Latin, etc. It’s a life, with all the boring bits taken out and just the sparkling stories left behind.

I loved reading about Hopper’s experiences as a child that pointed her toward a technical field, about her experiences in college, and about how she famously found the first computer “bug.”

Throughout the book, quotations from Hopper are incorporated into the illustrations. I loved hearing her voice–feisty, joking, passionate–emerge in those quotes. The back matter spills onto the end papers, as if there just weren’t enough pages to contain “Amazing Grace.”

Grace Hopper Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark, illustrated by Katy Wu. Sterling: 2017


Children with book around a globe

I participate every Wednesday in the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge at Kid Lit Frenzy.