Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor by Laurie Wallmark; illustrated by Katy Wu
Sterling Children’s Books, 2019. 978-1454926917
Synopsis: 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. – from Amazon.com
Why I picked it up: STEM! Women in science!
Why I finished it: Hedy Lamarr is one of many Hollywood stars that is celebrated for being talented and beautiful, but she also had a brilliant mind to match. Though she worked hard over the course of her lifetime on several inventions and developed one of the most important technologies of the modern age, it was hard to convince people that she was more than just a pretty face. I feel like this is a challenge common to women trying to break into what are traditionally masculine professions. Lamarr’s dedication to her work and her perseverance are an inspiration for all of us. The idea that we should to continue to think big and do good in the face of adversity and rejection is a message that comes across well for readers of all ages. Wu’s illustrations are fanciful and realistic to match the narrative. The contrasts of the Hollywood sepia tones with the bright colors of Lamarr’s workshop help to give the story a larger-than-life feel that seems to match the book’s subject. This is a fun read that is sure to inspire inventors and scientists of all ages.
Other related materials: Hedy Lamarr and a Secret Communication System by Trina Robbins, illustrated by Cynthia Martin; Hedy and her Amazing Invention by Jan Wahl, illustrated by Morgana Wallace; Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark, illustrated by Katy Wu; Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark, illustrated by April Chu; Lauren Ipsum: A Story about Computer Science and Other Improbable Things by Carlos Bueno; Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesh, illustrated by Melissa Sweet; Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts-; Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and the World by Rachel Swaby; Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women who Changed the World by Cynthia Chin-Lee, illustrated by Megan Hasley and Sean Addy; Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky; Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around The World by Vashti Harrison