School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-8Hopper was a pioneer in computer programming, most notably with the U.S. Navy. This biography is chronological and straightforward, although the subject's specialtycomputers and mathwill make some sections difficult for young readers to comprehend. Whitelaw includes enough period detail to add interest, and students will laugh at the size and limitations of early computers. Those who bother to read the introduction will enjoy the author's explanation of why she likes writing biographies and how she went about collecting the information for this book. Of special interest is the list of questions she wanted to answer about Hopper when she began; she returns to these questions on the last page and summarizes her findings. Hamlin's pencil illustrations are informative and appropriate. A solid purchase.Rosie Peasley, Empire Union School District, Modesto, CA
Kay WeismanWhitelaw recounts the life of a navy rear admiral who contributed much to the field of computers and programming. Hopper's childhood interest in machines led to degrees in mathematics from Vassar and Yale and a brief teaching career. During World War II, she joined the WAVES, where she was assigned to the Mark I computer. Over the next 40 years, she worked to develop a language that could be easily understood by both humans and computers and became known as the grandmother of COBOL. The author succinctly details the highlights of Hopper's life, with an emphasis on humanizing anecdotes. One story involves Grace using a mirror and tweezers to remove a moth from Mark II, thus coining the term "debug," meaning to solve a computer problem. Frequent pencil sketches help to break up the text for younger readers, and the index/glossary will aid report writers.
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