Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain by Cheryl Bardoe

Nothing Stopped SophieNothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain by Cheryl Bardoe; illustrated by Barbara McClintock. 2018. Pen-and-ink, watercolor, and collage. Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Brief summary: Sophie lived during the French Revolution in Paris.  During this turbulent time in history, Sophie was interested in math. Her family tried to get her to stop studying at night by taking away her candles, fires, and warm dresses to keep her in her bed and not calculating complex math problems.  By age 19, she wanted to go to a university to study math, but that was unheard of for a woman to do that. She was able to get notes from math classes and turned in assignments signing them “Monsieur LeBlanc”.  A professor came to her house and discovered she was the student. She met several scholars and was quietly becoming known. Her most famous math contribution was when she was able to find a mathematical formula that would predict vibration patterns. The Academy of Sciences had a math contest that had a prize of 3,000 francs. Sophie applied had the wrong solution. She kept testing and experimenting until 1826 when she found the answer to the problem and won.

Comments: Sections in the back are: short bio sketch, Is this Math or Science? Discover the Effects of Vibration for Yourself, Notes from the author and illustrator, and a bibliography.

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