Cover Image: The History of the Computer

The History of the Computer

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Member Reviews

First off, thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for letting me read the advance copy of this graphic novel The History of the Computer by Rachel Ignotofsky.

When I was teaching, I would have definitely gotten myself a copy of this book to stick in my classroom library. Fun artwork and accurate explanations of the technology for people new to the science behind how computers work. 

I have some background knowledge of computer history going into the book, but every time I was worried they might've missed a person or event, I would scroll to the next page or two and find it. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it for any younger (middle grade, perhaps) readers to start learning about how the modern computers came about. 

My one warning is this: IF the person in your life happens to be anything like my boyfriend* ..... maybe avoid this book when around them unless you want them to tell you every 20 seconds that there is a more detailed, and WAY more technical explanation for how things work. Especially if they also happen to be the type of person who will really want to make sure you understand that more technical information..... (I might've give up trying to read the book in his presence.)

*(the kind of computer nerd who builds drivers for work and then goes home and codes more projects for fun)
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If all history books were like this, I would read them all day, everyday! This is a fun and unique way to present history. This book is designed to be read visually, but contains so many facts. I feel like I learned so much in this novel that I never knew about computers: how they are made, what they are made of, the timeline and technological advancements over the years. 

If you're interested in computers, this is the book for you!
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The History of the Computer is a lovely book that takes you through time, as computers came to be. It's beautifully illustrated and short but to the point. The writing is clear and engaging. I especially like the key player's section, where you could read a bit about important people who impacted computer history.
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I appreciate this book. A weird thing to say? Sure. But what's even more weird? The fact that I haven't seen a recent book about the history of the computer. Technology is constantly evolving and it is definitely hard to keep up. But there is value in looking back, especially for younger readers.
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Rachel Ignotofsky’s “The History of the Computer” is as beautiful as it is informative. Taking readers right back to the technologies of Ancient Civilizations, Ignotofsky shows the power of ingenuity and design to shape the ways in which human beings live. Intuitively organized, with information broken down into manageable sections, complemented by annotated and illustrated timelines, feature biographies, and conclusions about the impacts of technology in each age, this book is a dream read for a middle-grade to upper-level student. Engaging mini stories of the people who brought various technologies into being, along with facts and important dates bring this complex topic to life. Ignotofsky’s style of transmitting history ensures that everyone is represented, but in a natural and subtle way; important women and other minority figures grace the pages as if they’ve always been there. She presents the accomplishments, not only of Americans, but of other countries as well.
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Thank you to Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed Press and NetGalley for the ARC. 

This is really a fantastic little book. While it's aimed at older children and teens, it's quite informative, even for adults. I certainly learned a lot while reading through the history. The illustrations are nice and compliment the text well. I think this is a perfect book for a technology curious kid or teen.
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I really loved this book! The format was colorful and engaging. It made reading about history very fun!
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The History of the computer is a fascinating look at all things related to the computer starting even before the invention of what we know as a computer in present age. The book delves into the origins of math and how  low tech in the past was a precursor to the computer age. I loved the timelines and info graphics spread throughout the book. For example when the author is describing the inner mechanism of a computer and their functions there is a lovely graphic of where those pieces are situated inside the computer and what they look like. Timelines as well were helpful especially when they contained pictures of objects used in the past that may not be familiar to us readers. This book can be used in so many ways in the classroom especially when researching technology now and in the past.
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Miigweetch to Netgalley and Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed Press for the DRC. 

I was interested in reading this book because I am familiar with Rachel Ignotofsky’s books work from the WOMEN IN SCIENCE series, and like how she presents information in bite-size factoids. I find this approach to be very palatable among my middle school readers who otherwise bulk at nonfiction for being “too boring.”  This, like Ignotofsky’s other titles, moves quickly and offers a basic, chronological introduction to computer history. As expected, Ada Lovelace makes an appearance.

The art is bold, colorful, and takes up the majority of space within the pages. The book offers a good snapshot of the history of computers, touching on topics like artificial intelligence (AI), mathematical tools, and important historical figures. Highly recommended for middle school and high school libraries, maker-spaces, or homeschoolers.
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This is a delightful, illustrated coffee table book. You’ll know Rachel Ignotofsky’s books and work from the WOMEN IN SCIENCE series, including books and posters and even a puzzle! This could be a picture book for children, but it could also be a book that you pick up and page through in a moment of quiet, or when you’re frustrated with your computer and need some time to breathe. It’s a nice little nonfiction book, and yes, it does talk about Ada Lovelace. I recommend picking it up! Five stars.
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As a young person’s nonfiction book, this title holds promise. While chronological in organization, The History of the Computer relies more on  illustration and factoid-style explanation than solid prose narrative style. It seems an attractive choice for the middle-school level reader who is interested in the subject.
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Who says educational books can't also be beautiful? As a long-time fan of Rachel Ignotofsky's work, as well as a history nerd, I'll be more than a bit biased in this appraisal. The illustrations do take up much of the space, which sometimes makes it difficult to read the text. At 129 pages, this is still a delightful--if dense--overview of computer history (which, by the way, *does* mention Ada Lovelace.) A note to adult readers: the use of illustrations doesn't mean that a work is a picture book or a graphic novel, nor does a dive into subject history render it a textbook. Indeed, this particular work is more of a coffee table book that can be used *alongside* more substantial reference works. Of course, you can enjoy it as is.
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As a homeschooling family, we absolutely love adding children's non-fiction books to our family bookcase and The History of the Computer is definitely an addition we need!

This comprehensive book covers the history of computing in a fun, informative way. Partnered with bold, colourful graphics, this book is sure to engage and hold older children's attention.

Due to the amount of information included and the large chunks of text, I feel this is more of a reference book and best read overtime than in a single sitting.

My son really liked all the graphics but I personally had a bit of trouble with them. Some pages were too busy and crowded for me and I feel they may cause some trouble for dyslexic readers but overall, the main bulk of the text is provided in clear paragraphs. 

On a personal note, I'm very glad that the author included Granville Woods who I have found is often overlooked in similar books.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Link to review on Booktopia will be updated once approved.
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4.5 stars. A fun, illustrated overview of computing.

Rachel Ignotofsky explores the history of computers from ancient counting and mathematical tools through modern artificial intelligence (AI). Each section is delightfully illustrated and designed to convey the key concepts in easy-to-grasp format.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I think it does a great job of capturing the history of computers. The illustrations are fun and make everything more interesting to read about. Given the nature of this book and its length, you can't really go into much detail on any one part of computation, but you get a snapshot of the scope of topics you might want to explore in more detail.
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I decided I wanted to read this book because it tells the story about the computer and why it was created and how it revolutionized into what we know now. I learned more about the computer from this book, and I highly suggest this to others who want to read about computers. I gave it five stars because the book was well detailed and drew me in. This is a great book to use for research or for to just read for your own pleasure.
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as an adult and wished it was available to me when I was younger. I believe this book - with its appealing and colourful illustrations (I liked the art style a lot), chronological arrangement, and short biographies of important people in the computer/internet field - would be an extremely engaging and valuable resource for today's teens.
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This book is extremely dense for a "graphic novel". It's basically textbook-level amount of words and a few drawings added to make it colorful. I enjoyed the graphics and the layout of this book, and really appreciated the biographies of influential people in the computer field. This book has a lot of information which is hard to process in such a compact format.  It's definitely a book that I would like to own and have for enough time to really appreciate all the information which is included.
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The design of this book was amazing and it was such a fun read! I found this book super interesting and you could tell how passionate the author was about the topic.
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I've always been fascinated by cryptography, binary numbers, Babbage and Lovelace, long-distance phone hacking, and so many other components of computing. This book brings everything together - so many things from paleolithic times up to the AI singularity. This book provides an excellent overview and can be the jumping off point for a deeper investigation into any one of these components. The book recognizes the impacts made by queer and BIPOC scientists and inventors.

Definitely a buy for my personal shelf, and a MUST ORDER for elementary - high school libraries. 

4.8/5 stars
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A book that I wanted to like, but found so lacking in narrative flow I could not really deal with it.  We get a very patchy introduction to computers, what they've recently been made of and what they have had played on them in the past, before jumping back to the Antikythera Mechanism, the abacuses of history, and so on.  Graphic asides, lesson through footnote and annotation, sidebars breaking up the page – the whole feels that more thought has been spent on the look of the piece than on the contents, however correct, well-written and edifying they may be.  I was all for a work that covered everything on up since the original hanging chad machines (Herman Hollerith being the name to check, apparently) that really would boggle the mind of some young reader more used to Minecrafting and getting past age checks on free porn sites, but this seemed to love its antiquated-feeling busyness too much for my tastes.  Illustrate your factoids by all means, but cram them into one narrative whose pages can be easily read without unnecessary diversion, mistakes in reading order and everything else to put a student off, please.
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