Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science

Stanley, Diane. Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer. Illustrated by Jessie Hartland. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016.


Ada Byron had a vivid imagination as a child. She was more interested in inventing than in learning the social graces. Unfortunately, that wasn’t really acceptable in the early 1800’s. In spite of the social expectations, Ada learned from some of the innovators of the Industrial Revolution. She took what they taught her and applied it to other topics and situations. What she learned of the workings of the mechanical loom and the analytical engine, which could work out math problems, helped her envision a machine that could work with any kind of symbol.

Diane Stanley has written an interesting but short picture book biography of Ada Lovelace. Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science will introduce elementary-age children to this incredible woman. They will learn about her life, her interests, and how she learned to program machines before computers were ever invented. Jessie Harland used gouache for her illustrations which add to the text.

The publisher recommends this book for grades K-2. I would extend that to include grades 3-5. I think the older age-group will enjoy this book more than the younger ones. Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science is on this years Land of Enchantment list. I can’t wait to share it with my students.

Even if you aren’t in New Mexico or don’t participate in the Land of Enchantment Award, I recommend this book for your biography section. It would be a great addition.

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer is available from Amazon.

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