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Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  22 reviews
This illuminating biography reveals how the daughter of Lord Byron, Britain's most infamous Romantic poet, became the world's first computer programmer.

Even by 1800s standards, Ada Byron Lovelace had an unusual upbringing. Her strict mother worked hard at cultivating her own role as the long-suffering ex-wife of bad-boy poet Lord Byron while raising Ada in isolation. Tutor
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Candlewick Press
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  29 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction
My predominant feeling after having read this book is sadness. This emotional response is a proof of how well-written and engaging this book is.
Ada was a creative, imaginative, happy and cheerful child who was born into a very dysfunctional family. Her mother left Ada’s father when she was a tiny baby, so Ada never knew him. Lady Byron herself might have been fiercely intelligent and dedicated to good works, but how little love and affection she gave her daughter! Ada had a gruelling study sche
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ada Lovelace seems to be experiencing something of a resurgence of popularity the last few years, and her story is a fascinating one. This biography, classified as children's non-fiction, does an excellent job of setting out the facts of her life and explaining what made her unique and why she is relevant today. The narrative of her life is fairly comprehensive but simply explained, covering even the scandals and the controversy of her family life but in a way that's age-appropriate.

As a childre
Laura Harrison
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ada Byron Lovelace sure is getting a lot of love these days. Emily Arnold McCully's contribution is probably my favorite. 5 shiny stars!
Teresa Grabs
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed McCully's biography of Ada Byron Lovelace. Many students are taught about her in high school, but younger students may find inspiration in her drive for knowledge and maneuvering through the social standards of her day. The illustrations, portraits, and other drawings certainly add to the appeal of the book and make Ada come alive for modern readers. I do think the writing itself is geared more toward middle school students, especially with words like languidly, biquadratic, and prepos ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
The author failed to make it into a cohesive story for a younger audience. The facts are presented, but I cannot see a young adult reading this whole book. It was dull. I will share my review soon.
Jaina Rose
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blogged
This review and many more like it are available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

As a girl studying computer science, I have become more and more aware of Ada Lovelace's name over the past few years. Going into Dreaming in Code, I knew that she was considered one of the forebears of computer science, and that she had worked alongside a man named Charles Babbage to develop an early prototype.

Those facts, I've found, are only partially right. I have to admit that I'm not as impressed with her as I hoped
I was unfamiliar with Ava Byron Lovelace's role in the development of modern-day computing prior to reading Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer, and I found this book absolutely fascinating.

Ada is the daughter of Lord Byron (famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as "mad, bad and dangerous to know") and his wife Anne Isabella (Annabella), who I would describe simply as the worse mother imaginable. "She was fashioning a career out of having suffered at Lord Byron's hands, wh
Yes, I've read most of the wonderful picture books about Ada Byron Lovelace, then received this amazing new one, thanks to Candlewick Press. Some have called her the Bride of Science, some a science poet, thus the title Dreaming in Code feels quite appropriate and you will understand when you read this longer biography. Child of the famous/infamous Lord Byron, whose parents were so estranged that her mother, Lady Byron, didn't even tell Ada about him until she had to, until he had already died. ...more
Laura Gardner
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ada Byron Lovelace had an unconventional life in the 1800s was able to imagine the modern computer. This engaging biography examines her controlling mother, Lady Byron, her long friendship with Charles Babbage and her attempts to defy sexism as a woman interested in science and math. Lady Byron, estranged wife of poet Lord Byron, was a powerful woman in her time. With financial resources of her own she was able to keep Ada away from her moody, philandering father (McCully breiefly touches on the ...more
Leonard Kim
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I read this because I had greatly admired McCally’s Caroline’s Comets. This is a biography of Ada Lovelace, who has been the subject of multiple recent children’s books. The main text writing of this was pretty good for the intended audience, though I think the extensive use of quotations (largely mid-19th century correspondence) might pose difficulties. Unfortunately, in the end I found myself questioning why children’s books are latching onto Lovelace as a subject. On the surface, the reason s ...more
Michelle Kidwell
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer
by Emily Arnold McCully
Candlewick Press
Children's Nonfiction
Pub Date 12 Mar 2019

I am reviewing a copy of Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer through Candlewick Press and Netgalley:

Ada Byron Lovelace was born out of scandal in the early nineteenth century. Ada has an unusual upbring even in nineteenth Century standings. Her Mother was strict and worked hard at making sure every one knew that she was the long suffer
Karen Meeus
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
I think this was a very well-researched biography and I really liked how the author didn’t shy away from Ada’s less appealing traits, and instead presented the reader with an objective, nuanced picture of both the woman and the mathematical genius.

Ada Lovelace was such a remarkable woman, but sadly she didn’t get nearly enough recognition for her groundbreaking work while she was alive and even today she’s left to linger in men’s shadows too much, I think. I really enjoyed discovering more abou
J.L. Slipak
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I recently had the opportunity to read and review and adult book, not written by this author, but on the same subject, Ada Byron Lovelace. You can read it at:

That book was good, don’t get me wrong, it was very good, however, this book aims at a younger crowd, to be precise, middle-grade readers, ages 10 to 14.

So I was very excited to get it to see how this author handled rather scandalous and sensitive information regarding Ava’s family in an age-appropriate manner. She did a
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This well researched biography tells about the first computer programmer in the world, Ada Byron Lovelace. Ada was the daughter of Lord Byron, the famous poet, but her mother chose to raise her on science and mathematics to combat the influence of her father's heritage. The details of her course of study and relationship with her mother are covered, as well as her meeting with Charles Babbage and his ideas about a Difference Engine and an Analytical Engine. Combining the creativity of her father ...more
Ashley Lambert-Maberly
First off, I received an advance copy through Library thing. This biography is apparently pitched to children, but I imagine the average child would be left fairly cold. I wished there had been more explanation, discussion, and demonstration of her ideas re computation, which is, after all, the primary reason her life is still of interest. Still, it’s full of facts, and while not entirely engrossing, it wasn’t an unpleasant read. I enjoyed it—but wanted more.

(Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful,
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read_and_review, 900
McCully handled the sensitive elements of Lovelace's life--the drug use, the sexism*, her horrible mother--well.

*even worse than science bros locking you out of the library: doctors who don't tell you you're dying
Shari Lackner Nagy
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a biography about Ada Byron Lovelace, an inventor and crusader I had never heard of before! Her backstory is very intriguing. Her mother left her poetic and wild father when Ada was very young. Lady Byron, far from perfect, focused Ada on studies. She had nannies and instructors ready for Ada. As a young child, Ada was already thinking differently; making structures out of blocks instead of what was instructed. She had a bold and active imagination.
At a party one night, Ada met Charles
rated it really liked it
Feb 25, 2019
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ada Byron Lovelace had the misfortune of having a famous father (Lord Byron) who abandoned her and her mother when Ada was only one month old. Despite the immense disadvantages of her childhood and gender, Ada was determined to learn all she could in the fields of math and science.

Dreaming in Code is good bridge for middle school readers ready for a longer biography. At 176 pages, it probably won't be read in one sitting. I would caution parents that it does deal with some mature topics. The de
rated it really liked it
Apr 11, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2019
Vidya Tiru
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I did enjoy the book and found it a fascinating read; but, yes, there is unfortunately a couple of buts here. While the book states it is for middle-grade students, there are some parts of it that seem either too dry, or too raw, or meant for more older audiences (on the other hand, some of the popular middle-grade fiction also touch on similar topics)

Somehow, the focus seems to be on the misery of her life (and even that of her mother's) than on the 'dreaming in code' part of her life. Granted,
Emme Huffman
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is supposed to be a middle-grade biography of Ada Lovelace. However, with its use of words like "mercurial" "spendthrift," it did not seem to be written mainly at a middle school reading level. Also, some of the phrasings came off weird and more suited to an adult-level book (Possibly YA):

"Henceforth, [Lady Byron[ would perform charitable acts that displayed her religious zeal."
"It didn't take long for Ada to be drawn into a shadowy betting syndicate, one that included John Crosse."

Julie Williams
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Apr 13, 2019
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Apr 10, 2019
Nat McCully
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Sep 19, 2017
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Apr 04, 2019
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Mar 17, 2019
Virginia McGee Butler
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Mar 15, 2019
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Emily Arnold McCully received the Caldecott Medal for Mirette on the High Wire. The illustrator of more than 40 books for young readers, she divides her time between Chatham, New York, and New York City.