Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 2, 2017

Book Giveaway: Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

Congratulations to author Laurie Wallmark has a new book GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE. They have agreed to participate in our book giveaways. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.

Laurie is having a book launch party for Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code . It takes place Sunday, May 21st from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Book Garden, 28 Bridge St, Frenchtown, NJ. She says everyone is invited.



“If you’ve got a good idea, and you know it’s going to work, go ahead and do it.”
The inspiring story of Grace Hopper—the boundary-breaking woman who revolutionized computer science—is told told in an engaging picture book biography.

Who was Grace Hopper? A software tester, workplace jester, cherished mentor, ace inventor, avid reader, naval leader—AND rule breaker, chance taker, and troublemaker. Acclaimed picture book author Laurie Wallmark (Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine) once again tells the riveting story of a trailblazing woman. Grace Hopper coined the term “computer bug” and taught computers to “speak English.” Throughout her life, Hopper succeeded in doing what no one had ever done before. Delighting in difficult ideas and in defying expectations, the insatiably curious Hopper truly was “Amazing Grace” . . . and a role model for science- and math-minded girls and boys. With a wealth of witty quotes, and richly detailed illustrations, this book brings Hopper’s incredible accomplishments to life.


You’ve heard the expression, “it takes a village?” Well it definitely takes a village to write a picture book. I’d like to introduce you to some of the villages that helped with Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, recently released from Sterling Children’s Books.

The first village for this book is Carolyn Yoder’s Alumni Retreat at Highlights Foundation. Carolyn had helped me with my debut book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine, so I knew she was the perfect person to set me on the right track with my next picture book biography. One problem, though. To get the most out of her workshop, I needed a first draft of the book, so I wrote one. It was quite dreadful, to put it mildly.

Carolyn had heard some of my poetry and suggested I try writing the book in verse. This was a great idea, not to mention a lot of fun. It would also help me decide if I wanted to write my graduate creative thesis in verse. (I did.)

My next village and the one who has been with me throughout the writing of this story and many others is my critique group, the Squirrel Girls. We are so named because our discussions often get sidetracked. Often, though, this distraction leads to an aha moment for the story under consideration. We’ve been together for years, so my fellow Squirrels have seen many a version of this story. Here’s a big shout-out to Katrina Bakos, Sheila Brodhead, Randi Clarken, Gigi Collins, Lisa Versaggi, and Michelle Yu. (cont.)

Now it was time for my next village to weigh in, the faculty and students at VCFA (Vermont College of Fine Arts). I workshopped my manuscript in verse and received many helpful suggestions. The problem was, even though the advice was great, the story wasn’t, so back to the drawing board.

Using my poems as inspiration, I rewrote the book in prose. I kept one of the poems in the final book, but discarded the rest. Once again, my critique group and fellow VCFAers helped with my revisions. At this point, I also added a smaller village, my beta readers—Jeanne Balsam and Barb Krasner.

I felt good about my manuscript, so it was time to get a professional critique. Here’s where my NJ SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) village came in. I’ve had so much support and encouragement from my fellow writers and illustrators on my writing journey. I can’t imagine not having them as part of my writing community.

I had my critique at the NJ SCBWI June conference with Meredith Mundy, Executive Editor at Sterling Children’s Books. I was thrilled when Meredith told me she loved my story. Of course, she also gave me plenty of editorial notes. My next village consists of the Sterling editors, art directors, marketing and publicity departments, and all the support people. Sterling also matched me up with my amazing illustrator, Katy Wu.

My last, but certainly not least, village is the Liza Royce Agency and my agents, Liza Fleissig and Ginger Harris. They’ve been with me every step along the way, from editorial advice to contracts, marketing suggestions to emotional support. Liza and Ginger are hosting my New York City launch party (at The Corner Bookstore, May 18, 5:30 – join us!)

People think of writing as a solitary occupation. They couldn’t be more wrong. It takes a village.


Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. When not writing, Laurie teaches computer science at Raritan Valley Community College. Her 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 several national awards, including Outstanding Science Trade Book and the Eureka Award. It is a Cook Prize Honor Book. Her next book, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code (Sterling Books, May 2017) is a biography of the first person to use English words to program computers, has already received a starred review from Kirkus.

Click here to join Laurie as she travels from blog to blog to introduce her picture book biography, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code.

Thank you Laurie for sharing you new book with us. It look like another must have.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I’ve heard of this awesome book! its on my Amazon wishlist. Nice to learn more about it. Also tweeted about the giveaway.


  2. What a journey this story has had — thank you, Laurie, for letting us peek behind the curtain to see all the iterations a book goes through to get it to its best possible form! The topic is appealing too, I’m sure it will inspire girls with a budding interest in tech. Brava to you and Ms. Wu, whose illustrations are charming and
    draw you in to the scenes!


  3. (also tweeted about this, see )


  4. I love Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine and I’m certain I’ll love GRACE HOPPER, too. Congrats!


  5. Wow, this book looks incredible! I can’t wait to read it.


  6. I remember Lauri and her talent from a writer’s retreat. So happy for her success. Can’t wait to read this book.


  7. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this fabulous book. The story and illustrations look interesting and encouraging for kids to learn more (as well as their parents!). I have also tweeted about this giveaway.


  8. This looks like such an interesting book to read! I’ve love to learn more about this woman.


  9. Thank you so much for sharing how this book came to be! We have ADA BYRON LOVELACE and look forward to reading this one too! I’m going on Twitter right now to tweet about the generous giveaway!


  10. I can’t wait to read it. Congrats.


  11. Love hearing how this story became a book! Cheers to you and here’s to many more stars!


  12. So great to hear of the “travels” this story took to get to where is ended up. Thanks for sharing this great story of a pioneering woman!


  13. This looks like an amazing book. I look forward to getting it from my library.
    I shared on Twitter (@MariaMarshall_) and FB.


  14. Cool idea–this book would definitely teach me something!


  15. LOVE this book. Laurie, I’m so glad you wrote it!


  16. Thank you for sharing your book’s journey. Looks like a great book especially for girls!


  17. Quite a book. Quite a journey.
    Looking forward to reading this story.
    Thank you.


  18. Yay for Laurie and Grace! 😀


  19. Congratulations! An amazing, supportive village. You write the best books and the art by Katy Wu is wonderful! I’ve posted on FB and Twitter.


  20. I’m excited for Laurie and her new book!


  21. Congratulations, Laurie. Grace Hopper is such a Strong Girl!


  22. Congratulations! I can’t wait to read Grace Hopper!


  23. Always love to learn about the journey from concept to publication. I look forward to learning more about picture book biographies & your books at the upcoming SCBWI NJ conference. I also tweeted the give-away offer!


  24. Can’t wait to hold one in my hands and look and read!


  25. Every little girl needs more awesome books like this.


  26. Looks fabulous, and speaking as a teacher, something that will be a valuable addition to the classroom.


  27. Can’t wait to get this book for the kids at my library!


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