Code Breaker, Spy Hunter, How Elizebeth Friedman Changed the Course of Two World Wars by Laurie Wallmark

Happy Book Birthday to a bunch of NJ SCBWI writer-friends!

Hon, you know how much I love Kidlit, especially picture books, so congrats to authors I know whose picture books have just debuted!

Laurie Wallmark’s newest picture book, Code Breaker, Spy Hunter, How Elizebeth Friedman Changed the Course of Two World Wars, illustrated by Brooke Smart, debuted on March 2, 2021.

Decode the story of Elizebeth Friedman, the cryptologist who took down gangsters and Nazi spies

In this picture book biography, young readers will learn all about Elizebeth Friedman (1892–1980), a brilliant American code breaker who smashed Nazi spy rings, took down gangsters, and created the CIA’s first cryptology unit. Her story came to light when her secret papers were finally declassified in 2015. From thwarting notorious rumrunners with only paper and pencil to “counter-spying into the minds and activities of” Nazis, Elizebeth held a pivotal role in the early days of US cryptology. No code was too challenging for her to crack, and Elizebeth’s work undoubtedly saved thousands of lives. Extensive back matter includes explanations of codes and ciphers, further information on cryptology, a bibliography, a timeline of Elizebeth’s life, plus secret messages for young readers to decode.

Goodreads

Check out Interview with Laurie Wallmark: Woman in STEM (who is NOT DEAD!) on the blog Unpacking the Power of Picture Books by Sandy Brehl to find out the very cool things embedded in the Code Breaker, Spy Hunter’s illustrations, why Laurie loves backmatter, and her thoughts about publishing many women-in-STEM picture books.

Other books by Laurie are Numbers in Motion: Sophie Kowalevski, Queen of Mathematics, Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life, Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Code, and Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. @lauriewallmark

 

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NASA Trip–Space Shuttle Atlantis

Countdown: the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon!

Hon, this is the perfect week to show you what my daughter’s Space Exploration team did at the Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex in Florida. Lucky me, I got to chaperone, learn alongside the students, and watch a rocket launch! Woohoo!

Shout out to Mr. John Yi, the high school’s Space Ex teacher, and Jamie Semple and Arianna Moore, NASA’s App Development Challenge Team who work in the Office of STEM Engagement at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and who put together the entire itinerary.

My daughter asked, “They planned all of this just for us?” Yup, they did.

(space post photos are a combo of mine and those put together by the group)

Here’s what the KSCVC site says about the Space Shuttle Atlantis, “a space shuttle launched like a rocket and landed like a glider.” 

You can’t miss the entrance to the home of space shuttle Atlantis: a mighty full-scale space shuttle stack of two solid rocket boosters and orange external tank. Inside, Atlantis is displayed as only astronauts have seen her in space, rotated 43.21 degrees with payload doors open and Canadarm extended, as if just undocked from the International Space Station (ISS). One of three space-flown shuttles displayed in the United States, Space Shuttle Atlantis® showcases the orbiter spacecraft and tells the story of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program.

In addition to marveling at the size of the Atlantis, visitors can “train like an astronaut in the essential functions of space shuttle flight with high-tech simulators,” experience a space shuttle launch simulation, and visit tributes to “the 14 brave astronauts who perished during the loss of orbiters Challenger and Columbia.”

Deployed in 1990 and orbiting 340 miles above the Earth’s surface, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) debut was delayed when it was discovered the optic mirror did not work. Watch how dedicated astronauts fought to save the telescope over the course of five grueling service missions. Learn how Hubble has answered some of the most basic questions about the universe and is still operating in space more than 25 years later. Including an exact replica of the telescope suspended between two stories of the Space Shuttle Atlantis® attraction, HST Theater also allows a close-up look at the configuration of Hubble and its solar arrays.

Book Launch Buddies!

from left to right: Guy Olivieri, Paula Cohen Martin, Linda Kujawski, Yvonne Ventresca, Laurie Wallmark, Cathy Daniels, Jeanne Balsam, me.
I recently joined Laurie Wallmark for the launch of her new picture book biography, Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life, Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor at The Book Garden in Frenchtown, NJ. It was so nice to see other SCBWI peeps at the book launch. So wonderful and supportive! And I have to get back to Frenchtown–so cute!
From Laurie’s site:
HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFEMeet savvy scientist and inventor Hedy Lamarr, also known for her career as a glamorous international movie star. Dubbed “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World,” Hedy actually preferred spending time creating inventions in her workshop to strutting down the red carpet. Hedy co-invented the technology know as frequency hopping, which turned out to be one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century! Today’s cell phone, computers, and other electronic devices would be more vulnerable to hacking without the groundbreaking system discovered by a world-famous actress and gifted inventor.