The Brilliant Calculator: How Mathematician Edith Clarke Helped Electrify America (Hardcover)
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Hidden Figures meets Rosie Revere, Engineer in this STEM/STEAM picture book about Edith Clarke, the innovator who solved an electrical mystery and built the first graphing calculator—from paper!
Long before calculators were invented, little Edith Clarke devoured numbers, conquered calculations, cracked puzzles, and breezed through brainteasers. Edith wanted to be an engineer—to use the numbers she saw all around her to help build America.
When she grew up, no one would hire a woman engineer. But that didn’t stop Edith from following her passion and putting her lightning-quick mind to the problem of electricity. But the calculations took so long! Always curious, Edith couldn’t help thinking of better ways to do things. She constructed a “calculator” from paper that was ten times faster than doing all that math by hand! Her invention won her a job, making her the first woman electrical engineer in America. And because Edith shared her knowledge with others, her calculator helped electrify America, bringing telephones and light across the nation.
About the Author
Jan Lower is the author of several forthcoming nonfiction picture books for children, including A Song for the Cosmos. Before becoming a children’s writer, Jan worked as a lawyer in Washington, DC, for several years. She received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Susan Reagan earned her degree from the Columbus College of Art and Design. With previous experience in greeting cards, surface designs, and picture books, Susan's titles include You and Me, Lights Out!, and Revolutionary Prudence Wright.
"The full-color images catch the eye and playfully include mathematical puzzles. Edith’s quotes are interspersed throughout, highlighting her love of math and her determination to succeed in a traditionally male field. This one will inspire and validate any readers who love mathematics and calculations, especially anyone who has felt marginalized within STEM fields...Rousing encouragement for readers—especially math-minded ones—to follow their dreams." —Kirkus Reviews
"(T)he text tells Clarke’s story in terms that are accessible to children and offers more information in the extensive back matter. The attractive illustrations, drawn digitally and brightened with watercolors, do a particularly good job of portraying Clarke as she gradually grows from childhood to maturity. An intriguing introduction to a trailblazing woman in the field of electrical engineering."—Booklist