Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life, by Laurie Wallmark | Speed Interview
The Children’s Book Review | May 17, 2019
The Children’s Book Review: Which five words best describe Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life?
Laurie Wallmark: Surprising, fascinating, informative, inspiring, science-y
Can you share one highlight from the book?
Fifty years after Hedy Lamarr received a patent for her invention, frequency hopping, she received an award for her significant contribution to computers. Her response? “It’s about time.”
What has been the best reaction from a reader, so far?
Many people know Hedy Lamarr only as an actress. When they find out she was also an inventor, a common reaction is “You’re kidding!”
Why do you think biographies are an important part of a child’s home library?
Sometimes children feel that certain careers aren’t open to them because of their race, religion, gender, etc. Biographies show all children the diversity of possibilities available to them.
As a child, what vocation did you dream you would have?
If you could sum up your life, so far, what do you imagine the title would be?
Work in progress.
What’s on your nightstand? Any books?
Always. As far as kids’ books, I’m currently reading Something Rotten by Heather Montgomery and Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers by Melissa Stewart.
What has been the best and/or worst advice you have ever received?
The best advice is some I’ve given myself and have finally accepted—keep on keeping on.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I hope those who read Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life, both adults and children, will realize you don’t have to choose only one path in life. It’s okay to have multiple interests and careers like Hedy did by being an actress and an inventor.
Written by Laurie Wallmark
Illustrated by Katy Wu
Publisher’s Synopsis: Movie star by day, ace inventor at night: learn about the hidden life of actress Hedy Lamarr!
To her adoring public, Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous movie star, widely considered the most beautiful woman in the world. But in private, she was something more: a brilliant inventor. And for many years only her closest friends knew her secret. Now Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu, who collaborated on Sterling’s critically acclaimed picture-book biography Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, tell the inspiring story of how, during World War Two, Lamarr developed a groundbreaking communications system that still remains essential to the security of today’s technology.
Ages 5+ | Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books | February 5, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1454926917
About the Author
Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark’s debut picture book, ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE (Creston Books, 2015), received four starred trade reviews (Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal) and many national awards including Outstanding Science Trade Book and Cook Prize Honor Book. Her picture book biography, GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE (Sterling Children’s Books, 2017), earned a Kirkus star, is a Parents’ Choice Gold Medal winner, and is on several public libraries’ “best of” lists, including New York. Her recently released book is HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE (Sterling Children’s Books, 2019). Laurie has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. You can find Laurie on the Web at www.lauriewallmark.com and @lauriewallmark.
This speed interview with Laurie Wallmark, author of Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life, was conducted by Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Biographies, Books About Inventors, Non-Fiction, and Women’s History. Be sure to follow along with out Speed Interview series, too.