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Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain
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Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  647 ratings  ·  166 reviews
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 m
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Little Brown and Company
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think we’ve done it. I think we’ve finally moved completely into a new era of biographical picture books. High time, says I! Gone are the days when a picture book biography had to be of somebody already famous. Gone the days of scanning the Biography section of the children’s room in the library only to see the same ten individuals over and over again. Now the elegant, intelligent, and obscure are filling book after book for kids. Whom do we credit? Publishers? STEM curriculums? The Common Cor ...more
This story comes to us from the French Revolution. Sophie was a teen during this turbulent time and she was to stay indoors studying. Her parents did everything they could to stop her from studying math, but they had to give in because nothing would stop her. Men during her day would not talk with a woman about anything intellectual. Math was a man’s field.

I feel for her. She died a mathematician, but she never married, and she had no kids. It must have been somewhat lonely. No man would talk wi
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this biography of a female genius mathematician, but then I think all mathematicians are geniuses, since math is so far over my head! Anyway, Barbara McClintock did a fabulous job of illustrating this book with numbers and equations swirling around on just about every spread. On one page, Sophie is jumping around (after she saw the sand vibrating on glass), and in the illustration are depicted shapes that sand actually makes when vibrated on glass--McClintock says she researched t ...more
I struggled with this book. While I loved the idea of this biography on a famous woman mathematician, who deserves far more attention, I felt bored with the story. While the need for perseverance in all you do is a good moral teaching that felt like the objective of the book. As a woman in STEM, I wanted the author to communicate the fun, the mystery, the challenge of being a mathematician, and none of that came out in the story. The illustrations communicated that better than the text.
So much potential for an interactive read aloud in 1st-3rd grade. Others have reviewed the content but I'd like to focus on the powerful illustrations in this book. Check out Barbara McClintock's note at the end of the book about how she "found ways to approach the project that married the mathematical with the artistic." She describes wanting to reveal Sophie Germain's work on vibrations and motion; wanting to explore the contrast between what was happening in the French Revolution and Sophie's ...more
Judi Paradis
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another great book introducing us to the hidden contributions of women in STEM. This picture book biography showcases the life and work of French mathematician Sophie Germain, who overcame extreme prejudice in the 1790s to offer huge contributions that were gradually accepted by the males who dominated European science and math. Sophie was the only person capable of devising a formula that described vibration patterns and contributed to our understanding of prime numbers. Children will be impres ...more
Laura Giessler
I'll admit that my standards are getting higher for picture book bios. I love reading about people that are new to me and learning about their accomplishments. We are seeing more of these kinds of picture books, so now I am looking for a story that is also compelling. Sophie's story is interesting and it caused me to appreciate how far we have come in terms of equality, but I couldn't grasp her passion for math. The refrain "Nothing Stopped Sophie" made its point but became a bit tiresome; and I ...more
VillaPark Public Library
This easy nonfiction book tells the story of Sophie Germain, a prominent female mathematician born during the French Revolution. Sophie always loved math and never let anything get in the way of her dream to become a mathematician. This book shows a wonderful female role model who loved math. Sophie teaches us the lesson of never giving up and having a positive attitude. The creative pictures show math and patterns visually.

Check this book out at the Villa Park Public Library:
Picture book biographies are rewriting history one woman/person of color at a time, and I couldn't be more pleased. In even the last year or so, I have read books about incredible people who contributed in incredible ways to a multitude of fields of study. Why have I not heard of them? Most likely because they were women or people of color and history didn't see fit to commemorate them to the same degree as their white male peers. I know I'm not really talking about this book, but it's incredibl ...more
What a fantastic true story of a girl who broke gender barriers, shared her intelligence, and was deeply involved in mathematics and science. I love underdog stories, and stories where girls unapologetically dominate their field(s). The end matter is great, too! There are notes from the author and illustrator, as well as a bibliography, more on Sophie, and suggestions for an experiment to be conducted by the reader.
Michael Perez
Some really nice art here. I wonder if this is too wordy. It certainly has its place in a collection.
Liza Wiemer
Fabulous! This is an amazing picture book about an incredible woman that will certainly encourage young girls to pursue math. Great for discussion. Wonderful illustrations!
Barb Middleton
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great message on perseverance and breaking into a new field as a female. Grade 2 stuck with it even though I thought it might have too many words for them.
Margaret Boling
3/19/2020 ~ A fascinating look at the life of Sophie Germain, a mathematician working in Paris in the l800s, a time when it was nearly impossible for women to be taken seriously in math.

The illustrations are energetic and invite multiple re-readings.

A must have purchase for an elementary library.
When I read books like this, I am always sad that the rules of societies and expectations of certain groups, long ago and today as well, keep children from learning, studying their passions, even going to school for education!
It's the true story of eighteenth-century mathematician Sophie Germain, who solved the unsolvable to achieve her dream. And no matter the restraints, from young Sophie to adult, she kept working to solve problems. Cheryl Bardoe's story emphasized the subtitle's theme, "no
Emma Davison
“Nothing Stopped Sophie” is an empowering story of Sophie Germain, the French mathematician and physicist born in 1776 who tried, revised, and discovered the mathematical equation to predict vibration patterns. The book outlines Sophie’s long, grueling process of working through the patriarchal society and correctly creating the unprecedented equation. Sophie’s story tells readers to never give up and to follow their dreams. The determination and perseverance presented is incredibly admirable a ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sophie loved math from the time she was a small girl. Her parents had to take away her candles and her warm dresses to keep her in bed at night and not at work at her desk. But nothing stopped her, not even the French Revolution when she was growing up. There were no opportunities for Sophie to study in a university, so she did her homework by mail using a male name. Her work was extraordinary, but when her identity was discovered no mathematicians would return her letters, though she became ver ...more
Shaye Miller
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Growing up during the French Revolution, Sophie Germain was one incredible person. Despite her parents hindering her night time learning (taking away her candles, etc.), she prevailed. Her drive was the need to make sense of the world around her. When she grew older, women still weren't accepted at university. So Sophie enrolled secretively under the name "Monsieur LeBlanc." Wow! In the book, her primarily contribution to society was her research in vibration patterns which make modern skyscrape ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It has been happening every single day for generations, hundreds of years. Women of courage and conviction defy the definition of dictated behavior. They dare to be different. They pursue their passions even if it means they are alone and are apt to face uncomfortable consequences. Most of them do so without notice.

A few months before the ratification of The United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, a girl named Marie-Sophie Germain was born in Paris, France. Nothing Stopped Sop
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very well written story of Sophie Germaine, a French mathematician growing up during the French Revolution. Without going into details, Bardoe provides a sense of what Sophie worked on. The main focus was the restricted societal conditions of the time and how this remarkable woman managed to surmount them.

Barbara McClintock's illustrations are terrific! Numeric symbols flow through the pictures and convey the sense that math can be a wondrous pursuit.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully beautiful and relatable picture book biography about Sophie Germain, a young girl who loved math. Despite her family's objections, she became a self-taught mathematician who because the first woman awarded a grand prize from the Royal Academy of Sciences by determining the formula for vibrations moving objects. This formula was the start of being able to build bridges and tall building. This book would be a great read aloud.
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, 2020-beehive
I am not a math girl. I struggled and struggled and struggled. It was cool to read about a girl in the early 1800's who not only was good at math but excelled at it. She even the homework form a math class and sent the homework in by mail under a mans name. The professor was so impressed he went to meet this man... to realize it as Sophie! Another great unsung amazing woman!
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this title as part of my mock Caldecott lesson, it is the story of one of the very first female mathematicians and the struggles and prejudices that she overcame. The illustrations are unique in that they show mathematical concepts.
Loved this book about an early female mathematician,Sophie Germain. You go, girl.
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 2nd-4th grade
3.5 stars
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting and nicely illustrated.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful art by Barbara McClintock illustrates the amazing, inspiring story of Sophie Germain.

Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I must have really liked it bc I kept insisting my daughter look at this part and hear that part. I learned a lot, and Sophia’s life journey is inspiring.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain is a beautifully written and illustrated biography that will inspire young readers to reach for their highest goals and never give up, even when faced with adversity. Sophie German serves as a role model for all young girls who may feel limited in what they can do by societal norms. Nothing Stopped Sophie tells a story of determination paying off, even when an end goal seems impossible. Although this true story is set d ...more
Jenna Neumeister
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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