Here is what Sterling, the publisher has to say: Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader--AND rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. Acclaimed picture book author Laurie Wallmark (Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine) once again 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.
Nugget (adapted in part from book jacket): With her passion for problem-solving, insatiable curiosity, and a refusal to do things the way they had always been done, Grace Hopper—sometimes known as “Amazing Grace”—transformed the world of computer science and eventually became an admiral in the U.S. Navy, where she worked until the age of 79.
Need Enticement: The book starts with an anecdote about how Grace Hopper “figured out a way to store pieces of a program” inside a computer. “No one had ever done that before. Grace was the first.”
Escalation: Shows how, “even as a child, Grace loved to tinker with gadgets” and understand how they worked so she could make them better. While trying to fix a broken clock, she ends up taking apart seven clocks in her house until she figured out what made them tick. After first failing Latin in her college entrance exams, she studies and studies until she conquers Latin, passes her exams, and is admitted to Vassar. Later, at age thirty-six, she persists for more than a year until she convinces the Navy to take her, even though she is “too old and too skinny to enlist.”
Satisfying Ending: Grace finally retires from the Navy, for the second time, at age 79, after dedicating her life to solving computer problems. “No wonder people called her ‘Amazing Grace’!”
Sources: The back of the book includes a selected bibliography as well as additional reading about other women in STEM.
Show Words: computer program (or code), colossal, experimentation, junior-engineer, blueprint, “Dare and Do” (her personal motto), soggy student, stray sparks, insatiable, computer “bug,” etc.
Why?: Grace Hopper shows how spunk and persistence, a “Dare and Do” attitude, and a sense of humor can help overcome life’s challenges and lead to a successful and satisfying career in a field (computer science, in this case) that is traditionally dominated by men.
Need and Want: Grace wanted to become a computer scientist, join the Navy, and continue working after the Navy initially forced her to retire at age sixty. She needed to prove to herself that she could solve problems (and succeed in a man’s world) through persistence and unconventional thinking.