Hello, friends! Our book today is Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant Inventor, written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu, a look at the talented and brilliant icon.
While most of the world may know Hedy Lamarr as a beauty and Hollywood starlet, many never knew that she was a brilliant and prolific inventor. She never sold any of her inventions, finding satisfaction in solving problems and improving products using her ingenuity and intelligence. That is until she – with assistance from a friend named George Anthiel – came up with a torpedo guidance system that they felt could help the U.S. win the war against the Nazis. And to this day, Lamarr’s technology is used in cellphones, computers, and Bluetooth devices all over the world.
Lamarr’s story is a fascinating one, and this book does an incredible job of introducing both the woman and her work to a young audience. Deftly moving from biography to technical explanations, to montages of invention and inspiration, the story does a fantastic job of showing Lamarr as a well-rounded talent as well as fiercely loyal and dedicated immigrant American – her passion for performance, science, and public service are all treated with equal importance, and show that women can have a multitude of interests and talents. And the walkthroughs of her most notable invention – spread spectrum frequency hopping – are inspired, breaking down complex technology in a way that readers of all ages can understand. Wu’s illustrations are lovely, capturing Lamarr’s sparkling eyes and creative drive in each expression. The length is better for slightly older bookworms, but we both really enjoyed it. A phenomenal look at an often-overlooked feminist icon in STEM, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)