The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague

illus. by Daniel Rieley. 40p. (Amazing Scientists). bibliog. chron. photos. Innovation Pr. Sept. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781943147427.
K-Gr 2—A picture book biography on the life and work of engineer and computer analyst Raye Montague. As with other titles in the series, Mosca tells the story of her subject's inspiration, perseverance, and hard work in rhyming couplets. Shunted into a business degree when she had hoped to study engineering, Montague's first job out of college was as a typist for the Navy. She observed closely, took night classes, and, one day when the entire white male engineering staff called out sick, seized the opportunity to demonstrate her mastery by completing their tasks as well as her own. In 1971, she used a computer program she had written to design a submarine, completing a task that had previously taken months in under one day. However, her contributions were not widely acknowledged for decades. Mosca calls out the systemic and interpersonal racism and sexism that threatened Montague's career and credits Montague with the determination and genius needed to get the job done anyway. While the rhymes are somewhat forced in places, the overall tone and message, as well as Rieley's appealing cartoonish illustrations, creates a positive, accessible portrait of an unsung hero of science. Back matter includes a letter from Montague to readers, a time line of Montague's life, and a more detailed biographical sketch directed to older readers.
VERDICT A solid addition to the picture book biography shelves and STEAM curricula for young readers.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing