Sonderbooks Stand-out

Sonderbooks Book Review of

Nothing Stopped Sophie

The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain

by Cheryl Bardoe

illustrated by Barbara McClintock


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Nothing Stopped Sophie

The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain

by Cheryl Bardoe
illustrated by Barbara McClintock

Review posted April 27, 2020.
Little, Brown and Company, 2018. 36 pages.
Starred Review
Review written June 27, 2018, from a library book.
2018 Sonderbooks Stand-out:
#2 Children's Nonfiction Picture Books

At last! The Boy Who Loved Math was a picture book biography of a mathematician that was hugely popular a few years ago. Now there’s one about a girl who loved math! And Sophie Germain accomplished amazing things.

It’s always interesting to illustrate someone being good at math. This is accomplished with interesting variety in this book. I like the illustration where her parents tried to take away her candles so that she couldn’t stay up late doing math. But later her work involved patterns of vibrations, and those are nicely illustrated.

Another interesting episode is where Professor Joseph-Louis Lagrange goes to visit the brilliant student who has been writing to him and discovers she’s a woman.

With so many women who broke ground in fields that were closed to them, a key part of Sophie’s life was her persistence. That is portrayed beautifully here, from the title to the final page.

Sophie is celebrated today because nothing stopped her. Her fearlessness and perseverance have inspired many people.

Perhaps she will also inspire you.