My favorite genre of books to read in elementary school was biographies (after The Boxcar Children, and before I discovered Nancy Drew!). Any young child with the slightest interest in math and science will love Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. The writing is as beautiful and inspiring as the illustrations. Together they create a book for ages 5—9 that will be read again and again about the first computer programmer. I was amazed to learn that Ada had written a computer program before Babbage’s computer (the Analytical Engine) was completed!
The most amazing part of the book to me is that it will require your child to realize that there was life before computers and calculators! Ask them to imagine what it must have been like to live before electronics. What would you do for entertainment? What did Ada do for entertainment? You might get a good discussion! There are supplementary materials that a parent or teacher might like to use on the publisher’s (Creston) website and additional information about Ada in the back matter of the book. You can also download the curriculum guide here. Awards include NSTA’s Outstanding Science Trade Book, and California Reading Association’s Eureka Book Award. You can find this jewel on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Wallmark, Laurie, and April Chu. Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. Berkeley: Creston, 2015. Print. ISBN: 978-1-939547-20-0
NGSS: 4-PS4-3 Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer Generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information.