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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

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  458 ratings  ·  112 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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4.18  · 
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 ·  458 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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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
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
Michael Perez
Some really nice art here. I wonder if this is too wordy. It certainly has its place in a collection.
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 and the text.
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful art by Barbara McClintock illustrates the amazing, inspiring story of Sophie Germain.

Laura G
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
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting and nicely illustrated.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Amazing true story!
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 2nd-4th grade
3.5 stars
Loved this book about an early female mathematician,Sophie Germain. You go, girl.
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
Kyra Nay
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
At the turn of the 18th century, Sophie Germain was obsessed with math from an early age. Amid the chaos of the French Revolution, Sophie spent hours devouring the books in her father’s library, fascinated by geometry and mathematical proofs. Her wealthy parents eventually allowed their daughter to continue her studies, although a female mathematician was unheard of at the time. Undaunted, Sophie completed mathematics coursework and corresponded with famous mathematicians under a male pseudonym, ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Nothing Stopped Sophie : The Story of unshakable mathematician Sophie Germain by Cheryl Bardoe illustrated by Barbara McClintock PICTURE BOOK/NON FICTION Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Hatchette, 2018 $18. 316278203



Sophie Germain understood math so well she thought about it all the time, her parents had to take away her candles and warm pajamas to keep her in bed at night. Her favorite thing to do was study math, but
Robin Loughlin
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book, very informative and well written for upper elementary students. It keeps the reader interested, and is a wonderful true story of Mathematician, Sophie Germain. Not only does this give the reader a picture of how things were in Paris, during the French Revolution, and what the expectations were of a young girl, it also shows the spunk and spirit that Sophie had to continue to feed her natural ability and love for math when others were not taking her seriously. Her eff ...more
Frances Hotchkiss
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book! This picture biography of Sophie Germain is inspirational especially for young girls. Though she is challenged day after day she does not give up and she is successful in becoming a famous mathematician. Her life's work will give students hope that if they keep on reaching for their dreams they can really come true!
mary dewley
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
What an inspiring story! Sophie Germain was an incredible woman who defied convention and became a mathematician! There is a lot of information in the book, including a science experiment regarding vibrations and so this would be recommended for older children who can read on their own.
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"The human spirit requires more resources inside when outside it has less." -Sophie Germain

We have been truly blessed with an abundance of wonderful biographies aimed at younger readers in the past couple of years, but have found that many have lost a certain gravitas in attempting to simplify a story/concept for kids. Not this one. It manages to be very simply and approachable, but rather than skipping over the more complicated bits, it digs in and takes the time to really explain (and illustra
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, just beautiful, all the way through, from the first glowing picture to the last careful statement in the author's notes in the back.
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