Hot Best Seller

Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer

Availability: Ready to download

This illuminating biography reveals how the daughter of Lord Byron, Britain's most infamous Romantic poet, became the world's first computer programmer. Even by 1800s standards, Ada Byron Lovelace had an unusual upbringing. Her strict mother worked hard at cultivating her own role as the long-suffering ex-wife of bad-boy poet Lord Byron while raising Ada in isolation. Tutor This illuminating biography reveals how the daughter of Lord Byron, Britain's most infamous Romantic poet, became the world's first computer programmer. Even by 1800s standards, Ada Byron Lovelace had an unusual upbringing. Her strict mother worked hard at cultivating her own role as the long-suffering ex-wife of bad-boy poet Lord Byron while raising Ada in isolation. Tutored by the brightest minds, Ada developed a hunger for mental puzzles, mathematical conundrums, and scientific discovery that kept pace with the breathtaking advances of the industrial and social revolutions taking place in Europe. At seventeen, Ada met eccentric inventor Charles Babbage, a kindred spirit. Their ensuing collaborations resulted in ideas and concepts that presaged computer programming by almost two hundred years, and Ada Lovelace is now recognized as a pioneer and prophet of the information age. Award-winning author Emily Arnold McCully opens the window on a peculiar and singular intellect, shaped -- and hampered -- by history, social norms, and family dysfunction. The result is a portrait that is at once remarkable and fascinating, tragic and triumphant.


Compare

This illuminating biography reveals how the daughter of Lord Byron, Britain's most infamous Romantic poet, became the world's first computer programmer. Even by 1800s standards, Ada Byron Lovelace had an unusual upbringing. Her strict mother worked hard at cultivating her own role as the long-suffering ex-wife of bad-boy poet Lord Byron while raising Ada in isolation. Tutor This illuminating biography reveals how the daughter of Lord Byron, Britain's most infamous Romantic poet, became the world's first computer programmer. Even by 1800s standards, Ada Byron Lovelace had an unusual upbringing. Her strict mother worked hard at cultivating her own role as the long-suffering ex-wife of bad-boy poet Lord Byron while raising Ada in isolation. Tutored by the brightest minds, Ada developed a hunger for mental puzzles, mathematical conundrums, and scientific discovery that kept pace with the breathtaking advances of the industrial and social revolutions taking place in Europe. At seventeen, Ada met eccentric inventor Charles Babbage, a kindred spirit. Their ensuing collaborations resulted in ideas and concepts that presaged computer programming by almost two hundred years, and Ada Lovelace is now recognized as a pioneer and prophet of the information age. Award-winning author Emily Arnold McCully opens the window on a peculiar and singular intellect, shaped -- and hampered -- by history, social norms, and family dysfunction. The result is a portrait that is at once remarkable and fascinating, tragic and triumphant.

30 review for Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    My predominant feeling after having read this book is sadness. This emotional response is a proof of how well-written and engaging this book is. Ada was a creative, imaginative, happy and cheerful child who was born into a very dysfunctional family. Her mother left Ada’s father when she was a tiny baby, so Ada never knew him. Lady Byron herself might have been fiercely intelligent and dedicated to good works, but how little love and affection she gave her daughter! Ada had a gruelling study sche My predominant feeling after having read this book is sadness. This emotional response is a proof of how well-written and engaging this book is. Ada was a creative, imaginative, happy and cheerful child who was born into a very dysfunctional family. Her mother left Ada’s father when she was a tiny baby, so Ada never knew him. Lady Byron herself might have been fiercely intelligent and dedicated to good works, but how little love and affection she gave her daughter! Ada had a gruelling study schedule, designed to develop her mind and stifle her overactive imagination and mercurial disposition. The book covers well Ada’s most important relationships in life, including that with Mary Somerville, a brilliant mathematician, and Charles Babbage, the inventor of the Analytical machine (a rudimentary prototype of a computer). Ada’s collaboration with Babbage resulted in Ada coming up with her famous ideas and concepts. Alan Turing called one of these ‘Lady Lovelace’s objection’- the idea that artificial intelligence is limited to what the machine is told to do by the human. The book does not shy away from difficult moments in Ada’s life: drug addiction, gambling, living up ( and down, after all, everybody expected scandal from the daughter of the notorious troublemaker poet), her awful death. It renders perfectly Ada’s feeling restless and limited in what she can achieve by life and by her being a woman. I was shocked at the little detail of Ada and Mary Somerville not being able to use the scientific library, despite the fact that there was a bust of Mary Somerville, prominent mathematician, inside the building. So much potential, so much craving for knowledge! I would strongly recommend this well-researched book to any school library. It would make an excellent springboard for discussion in class on a number of points: artificial intelligence, inventions, progress, education, women’s rights. Thank you to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laura Harrison

    Ada Byron Lovelace sure is getting a lot of love these days. Emily Arnold McCully's contribution is probably my favorite. 5 shiny stars! Ada Byron Lovelace sure is getting a lot of love these days. Emily Arnold McCully's contribution is probably my favorite. 5 shiny stars!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    Ada Lovelace seems to be experiencing something of a resurgence of popularity the last few years, and her story is a fascinating one. This biography, classified as children's non-fiction, does an excellent job of setting out the facts of her life and explaining what made her unique and why she is relevant today. The narrative of her life is fairly comprehensive but simply explained, covering even the scandals and the controversy of her family life but in a way that's age-appropriate. As a childre Ada Lovelace seems to be experiencing something of a resurgence of popularity the last few years, and her story is a fascinating one. This biography, classified as children's non-fiction, does an excellent job of setting out the facts of her life and explaining what made her unique and why she is relevant today. The narrative of her life is fairly comprehensive but simply explained, covering even the scandals and the controversy of her family life but in a way that's age-appropriate. As a children's book (or maybe more like a young teenager's book?) I think it would be most successful with kids who already have a fairly robust interest in math and/or computers. It's not overly complicated, but it does get into some specifics about Charles Babbage's difference engine and analytical engine, and Ada's calculations, which amount to the first computer program on record 100 years before computers. The book definitely doesn't dumb anything down, especially in the Appendix. It would be a fantastic read for girls interested in the STEM fields. With the early training that's available these days for kids to learn how to code, this book is perfectly timed for the young generation. Thanks to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for access to this advance copy of the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tvishi Mongia

    Really enjoyed this book. It was very fast paced and I loved the fact that it didn't dwell to much on the everyday life of the Lady Lovelace but kept it to the point. Plus as someone who had never head of Ada Byron Lovelace, I learned a lot. Really enjoyed this book. It was very fast paced and I loved the fact that it didn't dwell to much on the everyday life of the Lady Lovelace but kept it to the point. Plus as someone who had never head of Ada Byron Lovelace, I learned a lot.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Lovelace has a middle-grade/YA biography that captures more about her life than about her computing skills in that somewhat similar to Mary Shelley, her homelife was pretty crappy. In part, she had a rough childhood in that her father was Lord Byron who was already having an affair with his half sister and Ada's mom decided to leave him and his traitorous ways, never to speak of him. Well, what a start. Then she's a conniving, hypochondriac that micro manages everything while not really giving h Lovelace has a middle-grade/YA biography that captures more about her life than about her computing skills in that somewhat similar to Mary Shelley, her homelife was pretty crappy. In part, she had a rough childhood in that her father was Lord Byron who was already having an affair with his half sister and Ada's mom decided to leave him and his traitorous ways, never to speak of him. Well, what a start. Then she's a conniving, hypochondriac that micro manages everything while not really giving her any affection and love. It's not until Ada's married, motherly life that Lady Byron becomes a bit softer. But Ada's life is filled with illness and awkwardness. She challenges and thinks with her brain, moving through instructors and tutors, but it never seems like it ever gets far before something gets in the way. It's more about her tragic short life (she dies around thirty) from basically uterine cancer than about the math in her STEM contributions though it relies heavily on her relationships with Babbage. I either needed more visual stimulation (like Lita Judge's Mary Shelley visual biography) or more about her computing. Though the story itself is told well enough.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Chapman

    It is as shame that Ada Lovelace is not yet a household name. The daughter of Lord Byron, she was a scientist and scientific thinker in her own right during the mid-1800s. I loved that this book included images and diagrams alongside the biographic details of Ada's life. I will definitely be adding this book to our library collection! It is as shame that Ada Lovelace is not yet a household name. The daughter of Lord Byron, she was a scientist and scientific thinker in her own right during the mid-1800s. I loved that this book included images and diagrams alongside the biographic details of Ada's life. I will definitely be adding this book to our library collection!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Egbert

    Okay. I have got to walk away from the Byron clan for a bit. They are just too depressing. As are most of the other players in their lives. I did find it interesting to learn that Charles Babbage believed that everything every uttered by man or woman persisted in the atmosphere, that the air itself was one vast library. That thought made for some intriguing meditation. I do find it interesting that people really do either like Lord Byron or Lady Byron and there is no middle ground. I also am fas Okay. I have got to walk away from the Byron clan for a bit. They are just too depressing. As are most of the other players in their lives. I did find it interesting to learn that Charles Babbage believed that everything every uttered by man or woman persisted in the atmosphere, that the air itself was one vast library. That thought made for some intriguing meditation. I do find it interesting that people really do either like Lord Byron or Lady Byron and there is no middle ground. I also am fascinated by the irony that Ada is named as the visionary of computer language/programming and her father championed the Luddites in their cause to rebel against mechanization. (Really, there are so many ironies in this family tree that one's head spins.) Poor Ada, it is truly stunning that she was able to accomplish what she did do with her life and her amazing brain given the circumstances she was raised and lived in. Yes, she did bring some of the struggles on herself but that is not really surprising given her background. She was a brilliant and flawed soul and she will always intrigue me. She says it best herself, "You know I am by nature a bit of a philosopher, and a very great speculator, - so that I look on through a very immeasurable vista, and though I see nothing but vague and cloudy uncertainty in the foreground of our being, yet I fancy I discern a very bright light a good way further on, and this makes me care much less about the cloudiness and indistinctness which is near. Am I too imaginative for you? I think not."

  8. 4 out of 5

    JoLee

    Featured in "History Books for Young Readers" on Intellectual Recreation. Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the celebrated and notorious poet Lord Byron, was one of the world's first computer programmers. Ada had a very unusual upbringing. Her mother left Lord Byron when Ada was just a baby and took a very strict approach to her daughter's education. Ada's education far exceeded that of most girls of her time. She had a succession of tutors and proved to be very gifted at mathematics. After meeting Featured in "History Books for Young Readers" on Intellectual Recreation. Ada Lovelace, the daughter of the celebrated and notorious poet Lord Byron, was one of the world's first computer programmers. Ada had a very unusual upbringing. Her mother left Lord Byron when Ada was just a baby and took a very strict approach to her daughter's education. Ada's education far exceeded that of most girls of her time. She had a succession of tutors and proved to be very gifted at mathematics. After meeting Charles Babbage at the age of 17, she and the inventor collaborated and exchanged ideas. His knowledge of inventing and machinery married with her knowledge of mathematics far outstripped the technology of the day. I really enjoyed this brief biography of Ada Byron Lovelace. It's a very fast and engaging read. Ada Lovelace is a fascinating person, and her life was so usual and in many ways very tragic. All of that was conveyed very well in Emily Arnold McCully's book. Review copy from NetGalley.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Grabs

    I enjoyed McCully's biography of Ada Byron Lovelace. Many students are taught about her in high school, but younger students may find inspiration in her drive for knowledge and maneuvering through the social standards of her day. The illustrations, portraits, and other drawings certainly add to the appeal of the book and make Ada come alive for modern readers. I do think the writing itself is geared more toward middle school students, especially with words like languidly, biquadratic, and prepos I enjoyed McCully's biography of Ada Byron Lovelace. Many students are taught about her in high school, but younger students may find inspiration in her drive for knowledge and maneuvering through the social standards of her day. The illustrations, portraits, and other drawings certainly add to the appeal of the book and make Ada come alive for modern readers. I do think the writing itself is geared more toward middle school students, especially with words like languidly, biquadratic, and prepossession. Thank you NetGalley and Candlewick Press for the opportunity to read an advance reader copy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Deb in UT

    It was interesting to read about the life of Ada Byron Lovelace. It seems despite an often sad and controlled childhood with a mostly dysfunctional mother, Ada was able to find some happiness in intellectual pursuits and creativity. Even so, I wouldn't call hers a happy life. Her mother's strict and manipulative ideas are particularly troubling. I didn't learn a lot about Ada's mathematical ideas, but it is inspiring that she had them and was able to develop them back in that day. I'd have to sa It was interesting to read about the life of Ada Byron Lovelace. It seems despite an often sad and controlled childhood with a mostly dysfunctional mother, Ada was able to find some happiness in intellectual pursuits and creativity. Even so, I wouldn't call hers a happy life. Her mother's strict and manipulative ideas are particularly troubling. I didn't learn a lot about Ada's mathematical ideas, but it is inspiring that she had them and was able to develop them back in that day. I'd have to say this one is kind of interesting, but not particularly uplifting or encouraging for young girls today.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    The author failed to make it into a cohesive story for a younger audience. The facts are presented, but I cannot see a young adult reading this whole book. It was dull. I will share my review soon.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    Ada Byron Lovelace is fascinating. She was an incredibly smart person who ignored labels and limitations forced onto women of her time. Author & illustrator Emily Arnold McCully says that “Brave girls and women are her favorite topics.” Oh, how Lovelace fits that ideal. While this book is exceedingly informative, I was a bit disappointed in its execution. McCully filled her pages with everything you would ever want to know about Lovelace, including a few end-of-life details that I was surprised Ada Byron Lovelace is fascinating. She was an incredibly smart person who ignored labels and limitations forced onto women of her time. Author & illustrator Emily Arnold McCully says that “Brave girls and women are her favorite topics.” Oh, how Lovelace fits that ideal. While this book is exceedingly informative, I was a bit disappointed in its execution. McCully filled her pages with everything you would ever want to know about Lovelace, including a few end-of-life details that I was surprised to learn about her, her husband, and her mother. Maybe because I came into it thinking it was a children’s book (read: picture book), I felt slightly frustrated by how it read more like a (beautifully achieved) textbook than a kidlit biography. The cover even threw me by giving the impression it was aimed more at elementary school readers, rather than the late middle/early high school for which it was clearly intended. Overall, very well written and researched book...just not what I had been looking for at the time. A big thank you to Candlewick Press & NetGalley for the digital edition to read and review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Idarah

    Review can be found here: https://ginghampanda.blogspot.com/201... Review can be found here: https://ginghampanda.blogspot.com/201...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

    "When first shown the sea, she exclaimed, 'Throw me in!'" "When first shown the sea, she exclaimed, 'Throw me in!'"

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Bange

    There have been several excellent picture book biographies written about Ada Byron Lovelace recently, however if you have students who want to learn more about this amazing woman who was hundreds of years ahead of her time, this is the book to hand them. Divided into five parts, this highly readable text unpacks Lovelace’s life and includes the good and the bad: her difficult childhood with her overbearing mother; learning the identity of her brilliant but unstable father Lord Byron after his de There have been several excellent picture book biographies written about Ada Byron Lovelace recently, however if you have students who want to learn more about this amazing woman who was hundreds of years ahead of her time, this is the book to hand them. Divided into five parts, this highly readable text unpacks Lovelace’s life and includes the good and the bad: her difficult childhood with her overbearing mother; learning the identity of her brilliant but unstable father Lord Byron after his death; her serious health issues she experienced for years as a result of measles contracted as a teenager; her friendships with Charles Babbage and Mary Somerville; her marriage to William King (Earl of Lovelace); balancing being a mother of three children while continuing her studies and experiments and writings about mathematics and what was to be called computer coding in the future; her gambling/betting addiction; use of drugs to ease her pain; her painful death from cancer. The book includes an introduction by the author, Appendix A – Summaries of Ada’s 7 Notes about Babbage’s Analytical Engine, Appendix B – an excerpt from the thoughts by The British Association for the Advancement of Science on why they declined to build an Analytical Engine, Source Notes used by the author, a glossary of terms, bibliography of sources used, list of image credits, and an index. The text is broken up with black & white paintings of people in her life, photos and diagrams of Babbage’s machines and Lovelace’s algorithms. A strength in the book is the inclusion of samples of Lord Byron’s poems written about her. The perfect biography package about an incredibly amazing woman. Highly recommended for grades 5-8.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anoop Dixith

    Post reading this book, I realized it had a bit of everything - biography of arguably the first geekess/nerdess in modern history, the very origins of programming - the big-bang of programming 'if' you will 'for' it literally gave rise to if conditions and for loops of our era, the emotional rollercoaster of a short-lived life, the intimate and intricate relationships between people whose lives we just take for granted as flashy, and not at all the least, a bunch of trivia you'd not find in a GK Post reading this book, I realized it had a bit of everything - biography of arguably the first geekess/nerdess in modern history, the very origins of programming - the big-bang of programming 'if' you will 'for' it literally gave rise to if conditions and for loops of our era, the emotional rollercoaster of a short-lived life, the intimate and intricate relationships between people whose lives we just take for granted as flashy, and not at all the least, a bunch of trivia you'd not find in a GK book. I enjoyed reading the book way more than I had thought. The book, as the title "Dreaming In Code" should have revealed, is about Lady Augusta Ada Lovelace, widely considered as the first programmer, and known to the world as a collaborator of Babbage in building Analytical Engine, the first ever "computer". But it's also about, in fact more so about, Ada's relationship with her mother, the strictest of moms, Lady Byron. And also about the fame and infamy of her father, Lord Byron himself, the very fact being kept hidden from her until she was a teenager. The book is well categorized into parts that tell stories of Ada's birth, her complicated relationship with her mother, her interests and beginning of nerdiness, her collaboration with Babbage and eventual fall-apart, her married life and children, and eventually, at an early age in thirties, her downfall - debt, gambling, clarite, laudanum, and continued hostility from her mother even in deathbed, and finally very a painful death. The book begins with an aptly put line - "Born in an era that considered women's minds unequipped for serious business". It's tragic this was the case back then, and worse that the same opinion unfortunately is still prevalent in some shape or form even today!! Some of the fascinating trivia I collected from this gem of a book is that the first branching (if else) and first loops (for, while) were implemented by Ada in Analytical Engine, the first even algorithm in its modern sense was written to calculate Bernoulli numbers, arguably one of the the first quines in a way was creating a portrait of Jacquard woven from Jacquard punch cards, while Ada and Babbage were pioneering computing tech, her father Lord Byron was in fact the champion of Luddites, and the fact that Analytical Engine had an automation of tic-tac-toe! The book also efficiently captures some of the mind-blowing quirks of Ada - her "Flyology", her signing as "Yours Puzzle-pate", being one of the first ones to see numbers as generic "symbols" thereby triggering the idea that Analytical Engine could do much more than what a calculator can do, her concept of aerial mail delivery etc. But the most interesting of all was that she wanted to invent the "Calculus of Nervous Systems", a sort of "Laws for Mental Activity" thereby becoming (in her own words) Newton of Molecular Universe. The book very delicately captures a bunch of complex relationships, between Ada, her mom Annabelle Byron, and father Lord Byron; between Ada and Babbage (when they first met, Babbage was actually trying to charm Ada's mom); between Ada and her loving husband William; and between Ada and her affair with her psychologist. Everything about her death was very painful to read, except for the fact that when she was on her deathbed, she called for her close friend Charles Dickens, who immediately came and read her excerpts from her favorite novel of his, Dombey and Son. Overall, the book was a great read and I'd recommend this to anyone who is interested in knowing about the life and times of a real geek!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jaina Rose

    This review and many more like it are available on my blog, Read Till Dawn. As a girl studying computer science, I have become more and more aware of Ada Lovelace's name over the past few years. Going into Dreaming in Code, I knew that she was considered one of the forebears of computer science, and that she had worked alongside a man named Charles Babbage to develop an early prototype. Those facts, I've found, are only partially right. I have to admit that I'm not as impressed with her as I hoped This review and many more like it are available on my blog, Read Till Dawn. As a girl studying computer science, I have become more and more aware of Ada Lovelace's name over the past few years. Going into Dreaming in Code, I knew that she was considered one of the forebears of computer science, and that she had worked alongside a man named Charles Babbage to develop an early prototype. Those facts, I've found, are only partially right. I have to admit that I'm not as impressed with her as I hoped I'd be. Ada Lovelace was a very intelligent woman, with a passion for math and engineering, who basically kept up a correspondence with Babbage while he was working on his inventions. She was remarkable in her ability to comprehend the complex working of his machines and his ideas, in a time when almost no one else did, but the only real advancement that she herself ever really made in the field was her series of observations about Babbage's machines in the end notes of a translation she did of L. F. Menabrea's "Sketch of the Analytical Engine Invented by Charles Babbage." It's pretty cool to read the very first algorithm, in Note G, and to see her use the concepts of looping and branching that we still use all the time in programming today. But other than that, and an assertion that computers can only ever do what we already know how to program them how to do (something which has been contested since Alan Turing, and which machine learning has certainly destroyed), she really didn't do much else for computing. I hate to say it, because I loved the idea of learning about this kick-butt woman defying all the odds to become the mother of computing, but it sounds like Babbage was actually much more dedicated, productive, and, frankly, important to the history of computing. Lovelace got obsessed with Babbage's work and was a good sounding board for him, and she certainly made some important leaps of logic that he might not have been able to find, but I don't really see why her work is considered so pivotal. If she hadn't been involved, it sounds like computers still would have developed just fine. Anyway, I'm sorry I come across so negative in this review. I'm just disappointed that the famed Ada Lovelace I've heard so much about didn't quite live up to the hype. But anyway, I did really like this book which took a practical, chronological approach to describing her life. I recommend it for anyone interested in her work, though I do have to warn you that it may not be suitable for children. There are quite a few references to infidelity, both on the part of Ada's father, Lord Byron (quite egregiously) and, to a much lesser extent, Ada herself. There is also a mention of the rumors that Byron fathered a girl with his own half-sister, which is just so yuck. Also, this isn't so inappropriate but still very frustrating, her mother was a completely narcissistic controlling monster who didn't even tell Ada that her father was Lord Byron until she was an adult. So there's that. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    American Mensa

    Dreaming in Code is a biography about a very intelligent female pioneer named Ada Byron Lovelace born in the 1800s when women were not as encouraged to contribute to the world of science, technology, engineering and math as today’s women are. This book introduces the first computer programmer, Ada Byron Lovelace. When Ada was only a baby, her mother, Lady Byron, left her father, Lord Byron, a famous English poet because he did not treat his wife well. Lady Byron hired some of the most intelligen Dreaming in Code is a biography about a very intelligent female pioneer named Ada Byron Lovelace born in the 1800s when women were not as encouraged to contribute to the world of science, technology, engineering and math as today’s women are. This book introduces the first computer programmer, Ada Byron Lovelace. When Ada was only a baby, her mother, Lady Byron, left her father, Lord Byron, a famous English poet because he did not treat his wife well. Lady Byron hired some of the most intelligent tutors for Ada. Ada had a passion for math, science, mental puzzles, and inventions. When Ada was 8 years old, her father died of an illness, so she never met her father. Growing up, Ada knew very little about her father and what it was like growing up with a father. Ada didn’t know of the poems her father wrote for her until later in her life. Throughout most of Ada’s life, she battled a sickness. Ada regularly complained of headaches. Ada became sick with measles in 1829. As a result, Ada was put to bed and unable to walk for nearly two and a half years. Ada’s mother saw this as an opportunity to fit more studies in. At age 17, Ada met Charles Babbage, an inventor. Babbage invented the Analytical Engine. From that night forward, they became lifelong friends and Babbage became Ada’s mentor. Babbage and Ada shared a common interest in that they were both intrigued by the concept of computer programming. Ada continued to be interested in computers and later became the first computer programmer. Sadly, on November 27, 1852, Ada passed away from Uterine Cancer at a young age. Would you like to discover more about Ada Byron Lovelace’s short, important life, which was often full of sadness? This book covers almost every detail of Ada Byron Lovelace’s life. It covers very important people in Ada’s life. This includes her mother, the one who pushed her to learn as much as she could. Are you interested in learning more about her husband, her three children, and the role Charles Babbage played in her life? All that information is covered in this historical, non-fiction biography. Some parts of this book were hard to understand and follow because of advanced vocabulary, wording, and descriptions about her work. In the book, when it is describing machines or engines, they describe it in a challenging way for children to understand. Therefore, I recommend this book for young adults and high schoolers who really enjoy scientific books or for writing a research paper on women who blazed a trail! Review by Alexis N., age 13, North Texas Mensa

  19. 5 out of 5

    CrabbyPatty

    I was unfamiliar with Ava Byron Lovelace's role in the development of modern-day computing prior to reading Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer, and I found this book absolutely fascinating. Ada is the daughter of Lord Byron (famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know") and his wife Anne Isabella (Annabella), who I would describe simply as the worse mother imaginable. "She was fashioning a career out of having suffered at Lord Byron's hands, wh I was unfamiliar with Ava Byron Lovelace's role in the development of modern-day computing prior to reading Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer, and I found this book absolutely fascinating. Ada is the daughter of Lord Byron (famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know") and his wife Anne Isabella (Annabella), who I would describe simply as the worse mother imaginable. "She was fashioning a career out of having suffered at Lord Byron's hands, while at the same time basking in the aura of his fame." Annabella gave Ava an exhaustive education in mathematics, geometry, calculus and science in order to counter Lord Byron's perceived "insanity," and in an era where women were generally lightly educated or sent to a boarding school to be "reformed" in her youth as experienced by Mary Fairfax Somerville (an acclaimed mathematician and astronomer), the breadth and depth of Ava's education was truly a wonderful gift. But Annabella treated her daughter like a troublesome child her entire life and ran roughshod over her feelings. Ava was truly afraid of her mother and never shared a mother/child relationship with her. I thought McCully's book did an excellent job of conveying the positive and the (many, many) negatives of Lady Byron's childrearing philosophy, especially in a work geared for the young reader. Ava's life was not an easy or happy one, but her understanding of Charles Babbage's research on his Analytical Engine was light years ahead at the time and her contribution to the world of science is undeniable. The author explains in clear terms for the layperson the significance of Ava's contribution. Ava was the one to "master the complexity, and more important, the potential of Babbage's invention." This was Ada's great leap of imagination and the reason we remember her with such admiration. Her idea that the engine could do more than compute, that numbers were symbols and could represent other concepts, is what makes Babbage's engine a proto-computer." I give "Dreaming in Code" 4.5 stars and highly recommend it. I received an ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Yes, I've read most of the wonderful picture books about Ada Byron Lovelace, then received this amazing new one, thanks to Candlewick Press. Some have called her the Bride of Science, some a science poet, thus the title Dreaming in Code feels quite appropriate and you will understand when you read this longer biography. Child of the famous/infamous Lord Byron, whose parents were so estranged that her mother, Lady Byron, didn't even tell Ada about him until she had to, until he had already died. Yes, I've read most of the wonderful picture books about Ada Byron Lovelace, then received this amazing new one, thanks to Candlewick Press. Some have called her the Bride of Science, some a science poet, thus the title Dreaming in Code feels quite appropriate and you will understand when you read this longer biography. Child of the famous/infamous Lord Byron, whose parents were so estranged that her mother, Lady Byron, didn't even tell Ada about him until she had to, until he had already died. The intermingling relationships among Ada's mother, Ada's husband, and Charles Babbage show Ada's life and temperament in a rather constant upheaval. She appears a genius but beleaguered so by ill health, it is a challenge to see how she managed her mathematical accomplishments at all. Lady Byron, though she didn't admit it, carried her grudge against Lord Byron's betrayals all her life, appeared determined that Ada's mind and work would be 'managed', sometimes with tutors who gave her huge intellectual challenges, ones that inspired although also exasperated. Her collaborator Charles Babbage plays a big part in Ada's life and that relationship was described in detail about his inventions, the Difference Engine and Analytical Engine designs. Ada was able to see far beyond his visions, dreaming of the potential of modern computers and predicting such programming techniques like loops. She could have done more but was hampered by the mores for women at the time and her bad health. Appendices summarize Lovelace’s notes on the Analytical Engine and present the British Association for the Advancement of Science’s rationale for refusing to support its construction. This seems to be her finest time for recognition then. She has since been much praised. It's a dense and interesting portrayal of both Ada's life and the way people of wealth lived at this time as the industrial revolution flourished, those who followed the rules, at least on the outside, but did other things that surprised me, too. The portrayal of Lady Byron, Ada's mother, was most challenging to find sympathy for. There are source notes, a glossary, a bibliography and a page for an index not shown in this advanced copy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

    Ada Byron Lovelace was a computer scientist and mathmetician ahead of her time. The daughter of the famous poet, Lord Byron, Ada helped translate and refine the difficult mathematical concepts behind early designs of computational devices and was the first to express the idea that computers may not develop artificial intelligence because they work only with the data programmed into them. This book tells the story of her brief but extraordinary life. Unlike Maria Merian, whose biography by Joyce S Ada Byron Lovelace was a computer scientist and mathmetician ahead of her time. The daughter of the famous poet, Lord Byron, Ada helped translate and refine the difficult mathematical concepts behind early designs of computational devices and was the first to express the idea that computers may not develop artificial intelligence because they work only with the data programmed into them. This book tells the story of her brief but extraordinary life. Unlike Maria Merian, whose biography by Joyce Sidman I recently finished, I was familiar with Ada Byron Lovelace when I picked up this book. I wish I had read this one first because I liked Sidman’s work so much better and felt this one suffered by comparison! I think this was mainly because the biography of Merian presented so much excellent and engaging (and colorful) supporting material throughout the text. I understand some about computers and math, but I wished for some more explanatory sidebars in the text to bring what Lovelace was working on to life. That said, I did enjoy this biography and found it well-written, and I could see students with a particular interest in computers finding the biography well worth the read. I did not realize that Lovelace died quite as young as she did, and I was interested to learn specifics about her work and relationship with Charles Babbage. The book made me want to read a more extensive biography, and I hope that it would similarly make young people want to learn more about Ada Byron Lovelace. McCully’s biography of Ada Byron Lovelace provides an age-appropriate introduction to her life and work. With the emphasis on technology that pervades children’s lives today, children will connect with Ada’s work making such technology possible. While Lovelace is presented in an objective manner, her shortcomings, including possible drug and alcohol abuse are presented in a manner that is honest but age-appropriate and within the context of treatment options of her time. The book is adequately illustrated with black-and-white photographs throughout and includes helpful endnotes, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    Ada Byron Lovelace had an unconventional life in the 1800s was able to imagine the modern computer. This engaging biography examines her controlling mother, Lady Byron, her long friendship with Charles Babbage and her attempts to defy sexism as a woman interested in science and math. Lady Byron, estranged wife of poet Lord Byron, was a powerful woman in her time. With financial resources of her own she was able to keep Ada away from her moody, philandering father (McCully breiefly touches on the Ada Byron Lovelace had an unconventional life in the 1800s was able to imagine the modern computer. This engaging biography examines her controlling mother, Lady Byron, her long friendship with Charles Babbage and her attempts to defy sexism as a woman interested in science and math. Lady Byron, estranged wife of poet Lord Byron, was a powerful woman in her time. With financial resources of her own she was able to keep Ada away from her moody, philandering father (McCully breiefly touches on the scandals that followed Lord Byron) and also insisted on an excellent education for her precocious daughter with private tutors. Ada showed a special proclivity for mathematics. While still required to marry (to a man she did not love) and bear children (who she reportedly called "irksome duties", she was able to continue her work and studies into adulthood and developed a special friendship with inventor Charles Babbage. She was able to grasp complex mathematical concepts put forth by Babbage and even imagine their uses beyond his own invention. Lovelace is considered a pioneer of computer programming and conceptualized coding concepts such as looping. Ada unfortunately suffered from ill health for much of her life and ended up dying at a young age from uterine cancer. Her mother ignored all her deathbed wishes, including not letting her have opium for her considerable pain and ignoring all her bequests to her friend, Charles Babbage. While complex in nature, this book is a comprehensive look at a fascinating individual who defied conventions of the time and used her extraordinary mind to imagine the information age. To whom would you recommend this book? Students who like books about women with STEM careers will be fascinated by Ada Byron Lovelace's unconventional life and her wild imagination.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leonard Kim

    I read this because I had greatly admired McCally’s Caroline’s Comets. This is a biography of Ada Lovelace, who has been the subject of multiple recent children’s books. The main text writing of this was pretty good for the intended audience, though I think the extensive use of quotations (largely mid-19th century correspondence) might pose difficulties. Unfortunately, in the end I found myself questioning why children’s books are latching onto Lovelace as a subject. On the surface, the reason s I read this because I had greatly admired McCally’s Caroline’s Comets. This is a biography of Ada Lovelace, who has been the subject of multiple recent children’s books. The main text writing of this was pretty good for the intended audience, though I think the extensive use of quotations (largely mid-19th century correspondence) might pose difficulties. Unfortunately, in the end I found myself questioning why children’s books are latching onto Lovelace as a subject. On the surface, the reason seems obvious: we want to inspire girls in STEM and Lovelace wrote the first “computer program”! But reading this made me sensitive to the difference between biography and scientific biography, especially for children. Children might be well-served by the latter as far as Lovelace goes (though I’m not even sure about that). I don’t know what they would get out of Lovelace’s biography, despite its sensational aspects (daughter of Byron! Domineering mother! Affairs! Illness!) which really seems to me largely separate from her achievements. Yeah yeah we want to think every intellectual accomplishment is better learned in context. That may be true, but the *excitement* of ideas, which is really what I think we want to convey in a scientific biography for children, may have little to do with the environment from which it sprang. For example the mind-blowing sense of awe and beauty that often accompanies a first exposure to, say, Einstein’s theory of special relativity, is not heightened, I think, by learning about turn-of-the-century railway schedules, as relevant as they were. I sort of felt this book was all railway schedules (or rather Jacquard looms, math tutoring, etc.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the famous poet, Lord Byron, and Anne Isabella Byron. However, Ada never knew her father as her mother took baby Ada away from him when Ada was just one month old. Lord Byron was having an affair (or possibly more than one) and so Ada's mother was determined that Ada should have nothing to do with such a scandal. Even though it was the tendency at the time for the father to get custody of the child, an exception was made in this case because of the scandal. howev Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the famous poet, Lord Byron, and Anne Isabella Byron. However, Ada never knew her father as her mother took baby Ada away from him when Ada was just one month old. Lord Byron was having an affair (or possibly more than one) and so Ada's mother was determined that Ada should have nothing to do with such a scandal. Even though it was the tendency at the time for the father to get custody of the child, an exception was made in this case because of the scandal. however, Lady Byron was not exactly the most suitable person to raise a child either. She hired a series of people to care for Ada. they were all very rigid and conservative. They did do a good job of developing Ada's mind but none were very nurturing. Her closest companion was her cat, Mrs. Puff. When she was 17, she met Charles Babbage who was working on a machine that he called the Difference Engine. Even though he was much older than she was, they were kindred spirits in their love of inquiry, mathematics, etc and corresponded often about such things. He also started work on an Analytical Engine and Ada helped with that as well. Her work was very thorough but sadly was ignored at the time - in part because she was a woman, but also because it was ahead of it's time. She is what we now acknowledge as the pioneer of computer programming. She wrote things that were the forerunners of computer code such as looping, selection, etc. This was a very informational book - but was a bit dry at times, although this could be hard to avoid when trying to explain the types of things that Ada was working on...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer by Emily Arnold McCully Candlewick Press Candlewick Children's Nonfiction Pub Date 12 Mar 2019 I am reviewing a copy of Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer through Candlewick Press and Netgalley: Ada Byron Lovelace was born out of scandal in the early nineteenth century. Ada has an unusual upbring even in nineteenth Century standings. Her Mother was strict and worked hard at making sure every one knew that she was the long suffer Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer by Emily Arnold McCully Candlewick Press Candlewick Children's Nonfiction Pub Date 12 Mar 2019 I am reviewing a copy of Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer through Candlewick Press and Netgalley: Ada Byron Lovelace was born out of scandal in the early nineteenth century. Ada has an unusual upbring even in nineteenth Century standings. Her Mother was strict and worked hard at making sure every one knew that she was the long suffering ex wife of poet Lord Byron. Ada was raised in isolatio, but was tutored by some of the brightest minds of her time. Ada developed a love for Mental puzzles as well mathematic conundrums and scientific discovery. Lord Byron died in 1824 when Ada was still a you child. In 1829 Ada came down with the measles and was put on bed rest. The measles turned into a far more serious illness, leaving Ada una to walk for close to two and a half years. No one was cer what caused the illness or what it was but some believed it may have been caused by prolonged bed rest. By 1832 Ada was well enough to get back to horseback riding, dancing and gymnastics. At the age of seventeen Ada met the eccentric inventor Charles Babbage, they were kindred spirits. Their colloborations resulted in ideas that predated computer programming by almost 200 years. Ada Lovelace is now known as a pioneer and prophet of the Information Age. I give Dreaming in Code five out of five stars! Happy Reading!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I think this was a very well-researched biography and I really liked how the author didn’t shy away from Ada’s less appealing traits, and instead presented the reader with an objective, nuanced picture of both the woman and the mathematical genius. Ada Lovelace was such a remarkable woman, but sadly she didn’t get nearly enough recognition for her groundbreaking work while she was alive and even today she’s left to linger in men’s shadows too much, I think. I really enjoyed discovering more abou I think this was a very well-researched biography and I really liked how the author didn’t shy away from Ada’s less appealing traits, and instead presented the reader with an objective, nuanced picture of both the woman and the mathematical genius. Ada Lovelace was such a remarkable woman, but sadly she didn’t get nearly enough recognition for her groundbreaking work while she was alive and even today she’s left to linger in men’s shadows too much, I think. I really enjoyed discovering more about her and think this book is an excellent way to learn more about this fascinating, truly extraordinary historical figure. I was very much struck by how sad and constricted her life was growing up. I was especially astounded by the behavior of her controlling and rather cold-hearted, even cruel, mother. I’d have liked there to have been a bit more focus on Ada as a wife and mother, but the dearth of material might have made that difficult to do and Ada’s focus also seems to have been more on her research rather than her personal life. This is not a story with a happy ending and I was quite saddened to discover that not only did Ada die young, but also after suffering a lot of pain, in isolation, and with only the very dubious “comfort” of her mother. I was appalled by the latter’s lack of respect for Ada’s final wishes. This was a very enlightening book. The author presented her findings in a clear way while also keeping it an enjoyable and fluent read. Absolutely recommend.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer by Emily Arnold McCully, 164 pages. NON FICTION Candlewick, 2019. $20 Language: G (0 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: PG (19th century moral references); Violence: G. BUYING ADVISORY:, HS - OPTIONAL AUDIENCE APPEAL: LOW Ada Byron Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron, the English poet. Unfortunately, her mother left Lord Byron - taking Ada with her, so she never met her famous father. Ada had a very mathematical mind, and as she grew, tutors Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer by Emily Arnold McCully, 164 pages. NON FICTION Candlewick, 2019. $20 Language: G (0 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: PG (19th century moral references); Violence: G. BUYING ADVISORY:, HS - OPTIONAL AUDIENCE APPEAL: LOW Ada Byron Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron, the English poet. Unfortunately, her mother left Lord Byron - taking Ada with her, so she never met her famous father. Ada had a very mathematical mind, and as she grew, tutors fed her education with French, deportment, music, math and culture. As an adult, her social circle included the educated and the elite, including Lady Mary Summerville - a mathematician and astronomer and Charles Babbage, inventor of the Difference Engine, a mechanical calculator of sorts. He also made automatons. She worked extensively with Babbage, refining and collaborating and is now known as one of the pioneers of the computer. A fascinating read, well written and well researched with photographs of paintings and pictures of places and things. Lots of quotes from journals and letters gave this biography and authentic feel. The narrative, however contained a lot of old-fashioned words, making it a bit difficult even for an adult to read. I'm not sure today's high school students will be encouraged to finish, unless they have a particular interest in the subject. Lisa Librarian https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2019...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A fast read, this biography of Ada Byron Lovelace fell a bit short for me. Information would be given, sometimes in great detail, but without relevance, leaving the reader to wonder why it was even brought up. My main take-aways from this book are: 1) Ada was prone to great shifting mood swings (as was her father; I quickly pegged them both as probable manic-depressive/bipolar, and a quick Google search confirmed my theory; this also explains the moments of genius experienced by Lovelace as well A fast read, this biography of Ada Byron Lovelace fell a bit short for me. Information would be given, sometimes in great detail, but without relevance, leaving the reader to wonder why it was even brought up. My main take-aways from this book are: 1) Ada was prone to great shifting mood swings (as was her father; I quickly pegged them both as probable manic-depressive/bipolar, and a quick Google search confirmed my theory; this also explains the moments of genius experienced by Lovelace as well as the bizarre behaviors of her father). 2) Ada was brilliant at math and very complex ideas (although these are very poorly explained in the book, as mentioned earlier). 3) Ada's mother was controlling and stifling and seemed a detriment to Ada's mental well-being her entire life to the day she died. 4) Ada was a poor mother (she had no example, and her mathematics work took precedence over family duties) and wife (the book describes Ada's flirtations with others and rumors). I'm left at a loss of wondering what exactly Ada Byron Lovelace did for the world of mathematics and computing. She did something, it was important, but I have no clue exactly what it was. I do know however, that her achievements were held back by her sex, her physical and mental conditions, and her family. Rather than being uplifted (Yay, women! Yay, STEM education!), I was left discouraged and saddened at the thought of this broken woman who found solace only in the world of numbers and symbols.

  29. 5 out of 5

    J.L. Slipak

    I recently had the opportunity to read and review and adult book, not written by this author, but on the same subject, Ada Byron Lovelace. You can read it at: www.mybookabyss.com That book was good, don’t get me wrong, it was very good, however, this book aims at a younger crowd, to be precise, middle-grade readers, ages 10 to 14. So I was very excited to get it to see how this author handled rather scandalous and sensitive information regarding Ava’s family in an age-appropriate manner. She did a I recently had the opportunity to read and review and adult book, not written by this author, but on the same subject, Ada Byron Lovelace. You can read it at: www.mybookabyss.com That book was good, don’t get me wrong, it was very good, however, this book aims at a younger crowd, to be precise, middle-grade readers, ages 10 to 14. So I was very excited to get it to see how this author handled rather scandalous and sensitive information regarding Ava’s family in an age-appropriate manner. She did a great job. This book is a very well-written historical non fiction that celebrates an intelligent and insightful woman who was way before her time in mathematics and sciences. A remarkable accomplishment having come from such a dysfunctional family and who grew up over 200 years ago, a time when women were not like Ava. The writing is precise and tight and covers everything from Ava’s family dynamics, relationship breakdowns, Ava’s birth and childhood. It covers her growth and education. Along the way are photos and drawings to compliment the story and help with its conception. Even though for kids, I would recommend it to any adult wanting a quick biography about a brilliant woman.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Ada Byron Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron, the English poet. Unfortunately, her mother left Lord Byron - taking Ada with her, so she never met her famous father. Ada had a very mathematical mind, and as she grew, tutors fed her education with French, deportment, music, math and culture. As an adult, her social circle included the educated and the elite, including Lady Mary Summerville - a mathematician and astronomer and Charles Babbage, inventor of the Difference Engine, a mechanical ca Ada Byron Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron, the English poet. Unfortunately, her mother left Lord Byron - taking Ada with her, so she never met her famous father. Ada had a very mathematical mind, and as she grew, tutors fed her education with French, deportment, music, math and culture. As an adult, her social circle included the educated and the elite, including Lady Mary Summerville - a mathematician and astronomer and Charles Babbage, inventor of the Difference Engine, a mechanical calculator of sorts. He also made automatons. She worked extensively with Babbage, refining and collaborating and is now known as one of the pioneers of the computer. A fascinating read, well written and well researched with photographs of paintings and pictures of places and things. Lots of quotes from journals and letters gave this biography and authentic feel. The narrative, however contained a lot of old-fashioned words, making it a bit difficult even for an adult to read. I'm not sure today's high school students will be encouraged to finish, unless they have a particular interest in the subject. For this and more of my reviews, visit kiss the book at https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2019...

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...