Ada Byron Lovelace meets Charles Babbage. Babbage has designed (but not built) a machine called the difference engine, which is essentially the first clearly envisioned plan for a kind of computer. Lovelace meets Babbage, has an excited, largely mathematical conversation with him, and soon is writing imaginary computer programs for the difference engine – the first real computer programs ever written. And just as the story is getting exciting and you are thinking that the Difference Engine will allow Britain to jusp to the lead of the industrial revolution, Lovelace dies young and Babbage fails to get the difference engine built. So the creator of theis graphic novel, Sydney Padua, then imagines a pocket universe in which Lovvelace did not die early and she and Babbage built the difference engine and made it available to serve the Queen. What follows is a delightfully imagined silly story.

Why should I read this book?

If you love weird history, interesting theoretical math, or strange fiction, this book is for you. It is creatively imagined, delightfully rendered and a lot of fun to read – if it fits your sense of humor. I found the footnotes alone to be hilarious.

Who is this book best for?

High school students who love learning everything and perhaps are fans of Doug Adam’s novels and/or Monty Python’s Flying Circus. This might be a good book for a high school class library or school library, or to loan to a gifted student, but I don’t see it working well for small group or whole classroom study.

Challenge Rating: No Challenge

Heads up: Buying via our links may result in us getting a commission. Also, we take your privacy rights seriously. Head here to learn more.