How to engage kids in STEM subjects? One way is to have them read intriguing picture-book-biographies of STEM scientists of note, especially ones that have an engaging story or two in their past. Grace Hopper is one of these people.

Laurie Wallmark, author, and Katu Wu, illustrator, created a picture book that’s sure to interest elementary students: Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Code (2017). It’s in large-picture-book format with plenty of illustrations, while the print is sized for elementary readers.

The book starts out with a funny story about seven-year-old Grace trying to fix alarm clocks in her home. She’d taken apart seven of them. Later, she made an elevator for her dollhouse. As a young adult she made a memorable bathtub experiment for her classmates that got water all over the floor.

Fast forward a few years and she’s inventing programming, working with one of the world’s first computers. It’s not working right. Famously, she found a bug — a moth–that was the culprit.

As you can see, this is an entertaining book, marvellously illustrated.

I’ll give it five stars: * * * * *

Short Story by Phyllis Wheeler

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