The true story of eighteenth-century mathematician Sophie Germain, who solved the unsolvable to achieve her dream.
When her parents took away her candles to keep their young daughter from studying math…nothing stopped Sophie. When a professor discovered that the homework sent to him under a male pen name came from a woman…nothing stopped Sophie. And when she tackled a math problem that male scholars said would be impossible to solve…still, nothing stopped Sophie.
For six years Sophie Germain used her love of math and her undeniable determination to test equations that would predict patterns of vibrations. She eventually became the first woman to win a grand prize from France’s prestigious Academy of Sciences for her formula, which laid the groundwork for much of modern architecture (and can be seen in the book’s illustrations).
Award-winning author Cheryl Bardoe’s inspiring and poetic text is brought to life by acclaimed artist Barbara McClintock’s intricate pen-and-ink, watercolor, and collage illustrations in this true story about a woman who let nothing stop her.
When I visit schools, I often ask students to share, by a show of hands: Who likes to write? Who loves math? Who is interested in sports? Who likes art? Who is interested in science?… The younger the students, the more likely they are to raise their hands for almost everything. As a writer, I hope to create books that encourage students to see the world as full of possibilities. Literary nonfiction offers a unique path to this goal, and one that is particularly compelling in STEM topics.
* "The artwork--created with pen and ink, watercolor, and collage--is truly a sight to behold.... A highly recommended choice to the growing shelf of picture book biographies featuring women in STEM." —School Library Journal, starred review
"Impressive.... Bardoe and McClintock have...gone into new
territory, tried new artistic techniques, and brought to life ideas that
until now have never been displayed in this way in a biography for
kids.... They not only succeeded but triumphed." —Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 Production
*"Cheryl Bardoe's story brings Sophie to life for young readers. With watercolor and collage illustrations, Barbara McClintock captures not only the time period but also the complexity of the math problems that occupied Sophie's mind. ...a highly recommended addition to the growing number of books about women who have made significant contributions to knowledge yet have received little or no recognition." —School Library Connection, starred review
"Bardoe's text is concise and clear, right down to kid-tailored explanations of Sophie's mathematical pursuits. McClintock's line and watercolor scenes are an engaging meld of literal scene-setting and whimsical mathematical symbolism."—BCCB
"McClintock's scenes of 18th-century France are infused with a golden glow; numbers loom along city streets and burst from Germain's quill pen. Bardoe concludes this warm biography by emphasizing how later mathematicians built upon Germain's work." —Publishers Weekly
"Not only a girl power book, it also makes the power of math interesting and intriguing for children." --Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction (Greenville, SC)
"Sophie Germain is a girl who loves math. And when she discovers that math is the basis for so many things in the world, she's even more obsessed. And she's not going to let anyone stop her, even when they tell her that math isn't for girls or that a particular problem is just unsolvable. This true story will resonate with math lovers as well as those who want to read about strong-willed female role models." --Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction (Greenville, SC)
"Bardoe writes with precision and expert pacing, using repetition...and repeated bird imagery...to
pleasing effect. What McClintock accomplishes here is also a thing of wonder... McClintock puts imagination, scale, and color to work."—Julie Danielson, Kirkus