Thursday, November 09, 2017

Leading the Way: This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer by Joan Holub

Ada Lovelace.This little trailblazer helped think of a way to do math with machines, called computers today.

Ada Lovelace wrote one of the first computer programs, named ADA in her honor by the United States Government.

Ada, Countess Lovelace, the aristocratic daughter of English poet, Lord Byron, is an unlikely modern heroine, but her early love of mathematics, unheard of in the early 1800s, led her to her work with  a Cambridge mathematician, in which she wrote the world's first computer program for his "Difference Machine."

The formerly little-known Ada Lovelace joins more famous young women who were trailblazers in their careers or in public life. She joins women like Rosa Parks, who stood up for her rights by sitting down on a bus, Coco Chanel, who became one of the first women fashion designers by popularizing simple, comfortable, but stylish couture for twentieth-century women, Maya Lin, the youthful architect who was selected to design The Vietnam War Memorial which draws millions of viewers each year, and Ruby Bridges, the first-grader who all alone integrated a school and ultimately her hometown.

There are a disparate group of women pioneers in veteran author Joan Holub's This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer (Little Simon, 2017). Included among these women firsts are Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina woman justice of the Supreme Court and Florence Nightingale, the nineteen-century founder of modern nursing, Maria Tallchief, first Native American prima ballerina, Wilma Rudolph, first African American Olypic gold medalist, and Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. A brief appendix lists other famous women--Abolitionist and Women's Suffrage leaders Harriet Tubman and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Bessie Coleman, first licensed African American woman aviator, and Indira Ghandi, prime minister of India. More than a history lesson, this little board book informs and challenges all girls everywhere to be trailblazers themselves.

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