Q: Why did you decide to write this book for kids about Grace Hopper?
A: I think it’s important to show children that anyone, regardless of sex, race, religion, etc., can become a scientist or mathematician. Grace’s story might encourage a girl to become a computer scientist or open a boy to the wide diversity of people in the field.
Q: How did you research the book, and what did you learn that especially surprised you?
A: I did most of my research through reading books about Grace and watching videos of her. I was most surprised to find out, contrary to what everyone says, that she was not the first person to use the word “bug” to represent a glitch in a machine. She was, though, the first to use it in reference to computer programs.
Q: What more do you hope your readers take away from Grace Hopper's story?
A: Dare and do! This was Grace’s personal motto.
Q: What do you think Katy Wu's illustrations add to the book?
A: One of the joys of writing picture books is seeing what the illustrator brings to the story. Children (and adults!) do judge a book by its cover. Luckily, Katy created has such a striking one.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m currently revising a manuscript about another woman in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Amazingly enough, I could only find one trade picture book about a woman mathematician—Hypatia, who died in 415 AD. I’m determined to remedy this situation by writing one of my own.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb