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Hedy Lamarr's Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  356 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Movie star by day, ace inventor at night: learn about the hidden life of actress Hedy Lamarr!
To her adoring public, Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous movie star, widely considered the most beautiful woman in the world. But in private, she was something more: a brilliant inventor. And for many years only her closest friends knew her secret. The story of how, during World War T
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Sterling Children's Books
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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Jon Nakapalau
Wow - I can only wonder what she could have come up with if she had been supported by the powers that be - a true STEM role model for young girls everywhere!
Christina Carter
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, 1914 - Vienna, Australia) was best known as an international movie star - with a filmography that spans three decades. She "led a double life. The public knew her as a glamorous movie star, famous throughout the world. But in private Hedy was a brilliant inventor, a fact known only to her closest friends" (from the opening pages of Hedy Lamarr's Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor).

As a child, she put her creativity to use through imag
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Simple and informative and adorable.
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When someone mentions the name Hedy Lamarr, what comes to your mind? For me it is the glamour of Hollywood. Little did I know that Hedy was also a brilliant inventor. In fact, her idea for frequency-hopping is the backbone to device security. Hedy and George Antheil came up with the idea while playing piano together at a Hollywood dinner party during WW II. Their idea was meant to help keep transmissions to torpedoes secure and secret from the enemy. Hedy would wait more than fifty years to be o ...more
Cynthia Egbert
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This woman fascinates me so much and this children's story is a decent telling of the enigma of being the world's most beautiful woman as well as the creator of the frequency-hopping that keeps us from being constantly hacked on our devices. It needs to be offered to an older audience than many picture books because some of the concepts are tough to grasp for those of us who do not have a mathematical or scientific mind but the science concepts are offered up more than once from different angles ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I find picture book biographies to be a great way to learn a bit of information and to encourage me to learn more. I will guess this book will be loved for it's amazing dichotomy of a scientist and inventor who was better known as a Hollywood actress. I love to see more books about famous women who defied the odds and did what their hearts desired. They are our heroines, our leaders, and our philosophers, as well. Hedy's life should be better know for both her successful life roles. I am glad sh ...more
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As someone who is not a Hollywood buff (or even the opposite, I'm probably the least knowledgeable on that topic..), I was pleasantly surprised at how I fell in love with this picture book biography. I had no idea who Hedy Lamarr was when I picked this up (hides from CA movie buff friends) but oh em gee, she's amazing. I appreciated the multitudes she contained and how she was never ONE thing, no matter what people may have seen at the time. What a brilliant person, loved learning her story
Alex  Baugh
When my sister and I were kids, there was nothing we liked better than to watch an old black and white movie on a rainy, snowy, and/or cold Sunday afternoon. And among the films we watched were more than a few starring Hedy Lamarr. She was a wonderful actor. We never would have guessed that she had led a double life as an inventor and that one of her inventions would impact our lives years later.

In her picture book biography for older readers, Laurie Wallmark looks at both sides of Lamarr's life
Barbara Band
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 8 - 12; MG
Hedy Lamarr was a beautiful and glamorous movie star yet this biography shows another side to her. She was also a brilliant inventor, a fact known only to a few of her closest friends. She actually had no interest in the Hollywood lifestyle as her passion was science and engineering, something that was encouraged by her father. Her greatest invention was the technology known as frequency-hopping spread spectrum which helps to keep mobile calls and texts private, although at the time she invented ...more
Becky B
A picture book biography of actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr.

Ok, I now want to hunt down an adult biography of Hedy Lamarr. I had heard that she was an inventor before reading this, but didn't know many details. My interest is thoroughly piqued now and I want more information about her life! This does share how Hedy got into acting, her most famous roles, and her charity work, but it primarily focuses on the invention she developed with a friend that we use every day for internet and phone secur
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An engaging and entertaining tale of the brains behind a Hollywood legend. I love how playing the piano inspired Hedy to invent a secure torpedo guidance system. This book gives clear and easily understood descriptions of frequency hopping and how her pioneering work helps us keep cell phone calls and texts private. My favorite quote: "Do good anyway...think big anyway."An inspiring message from an inspiring woman.
Gina Perry
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating story about a Hollywood legend AND inventor. Before reading this, I hadn't known anything about Hedy Lamarr's life as an inventor and the specific invention shared in this story. Kids and teachers alike will love the layers of information in this book, beautifully married together by the illustrator, writer, and designer. Certainly a great STEM book, but also so appealing for young students interested in biographies.
Diana Murray
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An exceptionally thorough and well-explained account of a fascinating historical figure. It's about time she gets credit for her amazing contributions! This book has loads of classroom applications and would definitely stir up a desire to be inventive. And I loved the illustrations.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Loved how the author showed the complete life of this talented woman. Also loved the fact that I could causally mention her story to my sci-fi loving brother and he knew all about Hedy’s contribution.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-mock-sibert
It was so interesting to learn about this name I only associated with glamour and movies. Wow, she really had a passion for inventing. I only wish there were some photographs of Hedy Lamarr in the back matter. I found myself hoping to get to them at the end.
Kirsti Call
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Engaging and informative!
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: iris
IRIS March 7
This is a great time for non-fiction picture books. I so enjoyed learning about this amazing woman by reading this book. And I'm a grownup!
Gabrielle Carolina
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
An amazing mind, an incredible human! The back and forth between the "two" Heddy's in the narrative was an interesting choice, and ultimately did help illustrate that left/right brain shift.
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous actress and an inventor, cool.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Movie actress by day, inventor by night! Hedy Lamar's fascinating and inspiring story is told wonderfully in this accessible picture book biography. The explanations of her fascinating inventions is clear and understandable for a young audience.

I loved the retro-style illustrations too. A Time Line, list of films, bibliography and a list of other reading about women in STEM is included.

In Lamar's own words, "It's about time."
Tonja Drecker
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hollywood glamour meets scientific brains in a way to inspire kids that even more interesting dreams can come true.

Hedy Lamarr was a famous actress, known for her films with the biggest stars, but she had a lesser known side to her life too. Hedy was a curious person with an inventive touch. Noticing things which could be improved around her, she created various inventions in her free time. Most were never patented. But one invention of hers was quite ingenious and is now used in daily life toda
Baby Bookworm
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor, written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu, a look at the talented and brilliant icon.

While most of the world may know Hedy Lamarr as a beauty and Hollywood starlet, many never knew that she was a brilliant and prolific inventor. She never sold any of her inventions, finding satisfac
“All creative people want to do the unexpected.”

The true story of Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, who became Hedy Lamarr. Best known for acting in movies, she was also an inventor who created a technology called “Frequency Hopping.” It is still used today to keep signals from being intercepted in cell phones and other wireless communication.

Includes quotes by Lamarr interspersed throughout the text and a selected bibliography about Hedy and other women involved in STEM. A page in the back goes into m
Fascinating subject, fun and engaging illustrations. but I felt like the randomly scattered quotes distracted from the flow of the writing.
3 for the words/5 for the pictures = 4 stars.
Wendy Garland
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an intriguing read about the fascinating life of Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood legend and brilliant inventor.
Chana Stiefel
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In Laurie Wallmark’s newest picture book, readers are introduced to the surprising and fascinating double life of Hollywood legend Hedy Lamarr. Not only did Lamarr star in 35 films, but she was also a brilliant inventor who designed a secret communications system known as frequency hopping (among many other more fun inventions including a glow-in-the-dark dog collar and fizzy flavor drink cubes!). The illustrations by Katy Wu blend perfectly with Wallmark’s spot-on storytelling and gift for expl ...more
Gabrielle Stoller
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not going to lie, but I did not really know the backstory of Hedy Lamarr. Granted, I watched her in several Hollywood films. BUT I did not know that she was an inventor. Wow. There is so much more to her story than being an actress and having six marriages.

This picture book talks about her "frequency hopping" invention that she worked on in the 1940's. Her hope was that it would block transmissions so the Nazis would not intercept American tordepos. However, this technology was not even declassi
Hedy Lamarr- classic, stunning actress, with a sharp, inventive mind. Hedy Lamarr patented using different frequencies to communicate secretly during WWII, and her technology is still used in wifi today. During her young life, she was mostly acknowledged for her work as a Hollywood actress. It wasn't until 1996 that she was recognized for her innovation..."It's about time." she said.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sterling Children's Books is doing a fabulous job of acquiring titles about women in STEM and Hedy Lamarr's Double Life is yet another great addition (the same author has written about Admiral Grace Hopper). The story of Hedy's interest in science and invention plus her love of acting describes how both of those interests grew from her childhood on and how she and another scientist came up with frequency hopping, which is used today as a security feature in modern electronics. While I would have ...more
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Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark’s debut picture book, ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE (Creston Books, 2015), received four starred trade reviews (Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal) and many national awards including Outstanding Science Trade Book and Cook Prize Honor Book. Her picture book biography, GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE (Sterling Chil ...more

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