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Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist

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A full-color picture book biography about Dorothy Vaughan, one of NASA's first African American managers and one of the groundbreakers on the front line of electronic computing--includes hands-on STEM activities for an introduction to coding. Dorothy Vaughan loved things that made sense--especially numbers! In Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist , eleme A full-color picture book biography about Dorothy Vaughan, one of NASA's first African American managers and one of the groundbreakers on the front line of electronic computing--includes hands-on STEM activities for an introduction to coding. Dorothy Vaughan loved things that made sense--especially numbers! In Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist , elementary aged children follow Dorothy's journey from math teacher to human computer and beyond, a journey made difficult because she was an African American woman working during a time of segregation. Dorothy worked incredibly hard to meet the challenges that greeted her at every turn and rose to the level of supervisor, the first black supervisor in the history of her company! But another challenge awaited when a mechanical computer threatened to replace the teams of human computers. How will Dorothy figure out this problem? - In the Picture Book Biography series, children encounter real-life characters who are thrilled to learn and experiment, eager to make a difference, and excited about collaborating with crew members. - Age-appropriate vocabulary, detailed illustrations, a timeline, simple STEM projects, such as coding a name on a bracelet, and a glossary all support foundational learning for kids ages 5 to 8. - Perfect for beginner readers or as a read aloud nonfiction picture book! About Picture Book Biography books and Nomad Press Computer Decoder is part of a set of four books in the Picture Book Biography series that introduces pioneers of science to young children. The other titles in this series include Fossil Huntress: Mary Leakey, Paleontologist ; Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer ; and Space Adventurer: Bonnie Dunbar, Astronaut . Nomad Press books in the Picture Book Biography series bring real-world figures to life through fun, engaging narratives paired with dynamic, brightly colored illustrations and quick activities that reinforce foundational learning. Elementary-aged children are encouraged to expand their perceptions of the roles of scientist, artist, explorer, and innovator by meeting women, people of color, and other minorities in the profession. Nomad's unique approach simultaneously grounds kids in factual knowledge while allowing them the space to be curious, creative, and critical thinkers. All books are leveled for Guided Reading level and Lexile and align with Common Core State Standards and National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. All titles are available in paperback, hardcover, and ebook formats.


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A full-color picture book biography about Dorothy Vaughan, one of NASA's first African American managers and one of the groundbreakers on the front line of electronic computing--includes hands-on STEM activities for an introduction to coding. Dorothy Vaughan loved things that made sense--especially numbers! In Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist , eleme A full-color picture book biography about Dorothy Vaughan, one of NASA's first African American managers and one of the groundbreakers on the front line of electronic computing--includes hands-on STEM activities for an introduction to coding. Dorothy Vaughan loved things that made sense--especially numbers! In Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist , elementary aged children follow Dorothy's journey from math teacher to human computer and beyond, a journey made difficult because she was an African American woman working during a time of segregation. Dorothy worked incredibly hard to meet the challenges that greeted her at every turn and rose to the level of supervisor, the first black supervisor in the history of her company! But another challenge awaited when a mechanical computer threatened to replace the teams of human computers. How will Dorothy figure out this problem? - In the Picture Book Biography series, children encounter real-life characters who are thrilled to learn and experiment, eager to make a difference, and excited about collaborating with crew members. - Age-appropriate vocabulary, detailed illustrations, a timeline, simple STEM projects, such as coding a name on a bracelet, and a glossary all support foundational learning for kids ages 5 to 8. - Perfect for beginner readers or as a read aloud nonfiction picture book! About Picture Book Biography books and Nomad Press Computer Decoder is part of a set of four books in the Picture Book Biography series that introduces pioneers of science to young children. The other titles in this series include Fossil Huntress: Mary Leakey, Paleontologist ; Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer ; and Space Adventurer: Bonnie Dunbar, Astronaut . Nomad Press books in the Picture Book Biography series bring real-world figures to life through fun, engaging narratives paired with dynamic, brightly colored illustrations and quick activities that reinforce foundational learning. Elementary-aged children are encouraged to expand their perceptions of the roles of scientist, artist, explorer, and innovator by meeting women, people of color, and other minorities in the profession. Nomad's unique approach simultaneously grounds kids in factual knowledge while allowing them the space to be curious, creative, and critical thinkers. All books are leveled for Guided Reading level and Lexile and align with Common Core State Standards and National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. All titles are available in paperback, hardcover, and ebook formats.

30 review for Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist

  1. 5 out of 5

    Baby Bookworm

    This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily! Hello, friends! Our book today is Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughn, Computer Scientist, written by Andi Diehn and illustrated by Katie Mazeika, a lovely portrait of the mathematician and computer expert. Dorothy grew up in a time when it was unusual for any woman to go to college, much less an African-American woman; yet this never stopped Dorothy, who believed in the power of her intellect and This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily! Hello, friends! Our book today is Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughn, Computer Scientist, written by Andi Diehn and illustrated by Katie Mazeika, a lovely portrait of the mathematician and computer expert. Dorothy grew up in a time when it was unusual for any woman to go to college, much less an African-American woman; yet this never stopped Dorothy, who believed in the power of her intellect and the value of hard work. After graduating, she taught math in segregated school, but worried that her meager salary would not be able to provide for her children to attend college one day as she did. So when NASA (then Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory) advertised a need for human computers – people, mostly women, who solved complex mathematical equations for the mostly male engineers – Dorothy applied, and was hired. Through her dedication and work, Dorothy rose to a supervisory role and fought to end the segregation of the computer workforce at Langley. When the first mechanical computer was installed at NASA, Dorothy saw the future of her and her subordinates’ career, and taught herself, then others, how to read and write computer code, keeping their knowledge base up to date with the tech and becoming a computer expert in the process. Inspiring. Vaughn, who was one of the women profiled in the Hidden Figures book and movie, was known for her phenomenal intellect, but also her forward thinking and dedication to her employees, and this book does a nice job of introducing those elements of her story. It’s not as in depth as some of the other recent materials about the NASA computers are, but it does focus specifically on Vaughn and her achievements, which sets it apart. The illustrations are colorful, if a little flat in the energy and expressions of the characters. There are some great materials in the backmatter, however, including a few inspiring quotes from Dorothy and her contemporaries of the time. The length is fine for even little bookworms, and JJ enjoyed it. So while this one has a few weak areas, there’s still a lot to love – primarily, the story of a brilliant and brave black female pioneer in STEM – and it’s Baby Bookworm approved! (Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.) Be sure to check out The Baby Bookworm for more reviews!

  2. 5 out of 5

    RedPoppyReading

    “Computer Decoder,” by Andi Diehn and illustrated by Katie Mazeika, is a picture book biography of Dorothy Vaughan. Dorothy Vaughan took a job at Langley in the 1940s as a human computer. She became the first African American supervisor at Langley. When computers hit the scene, she became an expert at writing code. As my eight-year-old declared, “She is awesome!” and so is this book! My daughters love this book and have declared that we need our own copy. Look for this book next month – it will “Computer Decoder,” by Andi Diehn and illustrated by Katie Mazeika, is a picture book biography of Dorothy Vaughan. Dorothy Vaughan took a job at Langley in the 1940s as a human computer. She became the first African American supervisor at Langley. When computers hit the scene, she became an expert at writing code. As my eight-year-old declared, “She is awesome!” and so is this book! My daughters love this book and have declared that we need our own copy. Look for this book next month – it will be released on September 10, 2019. Thanks to the author and publisher for sharing a review copy with #kidlitexchange and thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book – all opinions are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lauren- The Smile Lines

    Thank you to the author @andiwritesbooks for sharing a review copy of Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist with @kidlitexchange. . What an inspiring story! Dorothy Vaughan lived quite a life! Comment with a 💙 if you enjoy reading biographies! There are so many topics covered by following Dorothy’s journey - segregation, women’s rights, technology, determination, advances in Nasa... . I really like how there are specific sentences in bold throughout the book. We went back and just re Thank you to the author @andiwritesbooks for sharing a review copy of Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist with @kidlitexchange. . What an inspiring story! Dorothy Vaughan lived quite a life! Comment with a 💙 if you enjoy reading biographies! There are so many topics covered by following Dorothy’s journey - segregation, women’s rights, technology, determination, advances in Nasa... . I really like how there are specific sentences in bold throughout the book. We went back and just read those sentences to understand how things made SENSE to Dorothy Vaughn, the human computer. . The last few pages give some Follow Up ideas. We tried the coding activity. Swipe over to see out coding! My sons really enjoyed creating their own key for the codes and writing some words to each other. . This book comes out in September. I definitely recommend it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    Okay, I normally wouldn't count a picture book in my annual books- but since I recorded it for story time at NKU and it took longer to get through, I included it. A great book about an AMAZING WOMAN! I wish it had wrapped up with a slightly more exciting ending- the last page in the picture book is just "even when she was old, she liked learning. The end." Kind of a boring ending. Okay, I normally wouldn't count a picture book in my annual books- but since I recorded it for story time at NKU and it took longer to get through, I included it. A great book about an AMAZING WOMAN! I wish it had wrapped up with a slightly more exciting ending- the last page in the picture book is just "even when she was old, she liked learning. The end." Kind of a boring ending.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lara Samuels

    This biography is a great introduction to one of my heroes. I can’t wait to share it with the kids.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Keller

    I feel that this book was very informative while still remaining at an easy reading level. Children able to comprehend this book in a literary sense can learn so much about not only Dorothy Vaughan, but about the time period that she lived in. A time of great unrest and segregation. The book addresses both racial and gender disparities and aims to teach children about the hardships of black women historically. The grammatical and literary setup of this book involves simple sentences which state I feel that this book was very informative while still remaining at an easy reading level. Children able to comprehend this book in a literary sense can learn so much about not only Dorothy Vaughan, but about the time period that she lived in. A time of great unrest and segregation. The book addresses both racial and gender disparities and aims to teach children about the hardships of black women historically. The grammatical and literary setup of this book involves simple sentences which state concrete ideas and allow children to soak up information in a digestible way. I think that this book is a great tool for introducing children to true American history and earning a deep respect for black historical figures. A good way to check comprehension and continue the conversation of racial issues after reading this book to a child would be to ask them how Dorothy Vaughan made an impact on America while she was alive, and also how her accomplishments have changed history for the better.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    Two things: 1/ Dorothy Vaughn was an amazing inspiration. I think about what my mom’s generation was able to do and yet this phenomenal woman set even height goals and continued to work to make them happen despite big obstacles. 2/ My review and four stars is for the book and not the subject of the book (who is 10 stars!). I loved the illustrations and I loved the way the book was written. I recommend this book to inspire young girls to dream big about becoming engineers and scientists and mathema Two things: 1/ Dorothy Vaughn was an amazing inspiration. I think about what my mom’s generation was able to do and yet this phenomenal woman set even height goals and continued to work to make them happen despite big obstacles. 2/ My review and four stars is for the book and not the subject of the book (who is 10 stars!). I loved the illustrations and I loved the way the book was written. I recommend this book to inspire young girls to dream big about becoming engineers and scientists and mathematicians. Love seeing women in STEM and more than that, I just love when someone continues to work hard towards fulfilling her dreams. Even when there are new challenges, I love the encouragement to find a way to success through being curious and working hard - the book captured that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jo Oehrlein

    A biography of Dorothy Vaughan that focuses on a relatively short period in her life -- from the early 1940s until the formation of NASA in 1958 (and really, mostly on the 40s). Talks about math and programming making sense and segregation not making sense. So, this is about the story of human computers, electrical computers that replaced them, and the women learning to program the new electrical computers, but it's also about segregation and what that meant (in a very general way). A biography of Dorothy Vaughan that focuses on a relatively short period in her life -- from the early 1940s until the formation of NASA in 1958 (and really, mostly on the 40s). Talks about math and programming making sense and segregation not making sense. So, this is about the story of human computers, electrical computers that replaced them, and the women learning to program the new electrical computers, but it's also about segregation and what that meant (in a very general way).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    Focuses on Dorothy Vaughan as an adult, with her work at Langley/NASA taking up most of the book (but without a lot of detail). There are two threads through the book: things that make sense to Vaughan (math and equality, in many cases), and the barriers of segregation.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Micki

    Really informative and useful for kids into computers and biographies alike.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Judy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mya (reads childrens books)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kirstie Myvett

  14. 5 out of 5

    Annmaria Tierno

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  19. 5 out of 5

    Oddly Minty

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nora

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jay

  22. 4 out of 5

    Haley

  23. 5 out of 5

    Abby Nalder

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tony Gordon

  25. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan Smith

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bi

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elena Giselle

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