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The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague

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Meet Raye Montague--the hidden mastermind who made waves in the U.S. Navy! After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted m Meet Raye Montague--the hidden mastermind who made waves in the U.S. Navy! After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted--finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever. The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague is the third book in a riveting educational series about the inspiring lives of amazing scientists. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you'll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Montague herself!


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Meet Raye Montague--the hidden mastermind who made waves in the U.S. Navy! After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted m Meet Raye Montague--the hidden mastermind who made waves in the U.S. Navy! After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted--finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever. The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague is the third book in a riveting educational series about the inspiring lives of amazing scientists. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you'll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Montague herself!

30 review for The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague

  1. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Wonderful illustrations, perfect for a read-aloud. Not overly sweet, but realistic and inspirational. I loved the rhymes, adding to the read-aloud potential!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex (not a dude) Baugh

    In this rhyming picture book, readers are introduced to Raye Montague. "Who?" my young readers asked when I showed this book to them. And truth be told, I asked the same question when I received it. Raye Montague is an African American from Arkansas, and, it turned out, a whiz at math. At 7, her granddad took her to see a real submarine, and Raye immediately knew what she wanted to be when she grew up - an engineer building ships. The only problem was that Raye lived in the segregated south and In this rhyming picture book, readers are introduced to Raye Montague. "Who?" my young readers asked when I showed this book to them. And truth be told, I asked the same question when I received it. Raye Montague is an African American from Arkansas, and, it turned out, a whiz at math. At 7, her granddad took her to see a real submarine, and Raye immediately knew what she wanted to be when she grew up - an engineer building ships. The only problem was that Raye lived in the segregated south and went to a school that wasn't as good as the white school. Still, she persisted in her studies, excelling in math and eventually went to college, where she was told, engineering wasn't taught to black students. Graduating with a degree in business, Raye got a job in Washington, DC for the Navy in a department where they designed ships. Hired as a secretary, Raye was undaunted in her desire to be an engineer, and signed up for computer classes. Good thing, too, because when all the engineers got the flu, Raye was able to do her own work as well as theirs. And Raye went on to design the first ship done completely by computer in less than a day. And she still wasn't an licensed engineer! Nor was she allowed to see her computer designed ship when it was built! Why? Because she was a black woman. But Raye persisted, giving her best. Does she ever receive the recognition she so rightly deserved? Yes, she does and more, and, as my kids agreed, finally! Raye's advice to dreamers - never quit, hold your course, and don't stress. Telling this story in rhyme seemed weird at first, but it enabled Mosca to get in a lot of information in a way young readers could relate to, and it opened good discussions about race and sexism that would otherwise be difficult to introduced to young kids. I loved the simple almost cartoonish illustrations because sometimes those speak louder to kids than more realistic images. This is another inspiring, well-done STEM book for young readers. Back matter is included.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie P

    I received an advance digital copy of this book from Edelweiss + to review. 4.5 stars. I have been thoroughly enjoying The Amazing Scientists series. They use a rhyming text, which is not overly common in non-fiction, but works very well here. The books provide inspiring information through easily flowing text which makes them great for reading aloud. There is plenty of additional biographical information in the back of the book, plus a note and picture from the featured scientist! I had never hea I received an advance digital copy of this book from Edelweiss + to review. 4.5 stars. I have been thoroughly enjoying The Amazing Scientists series. They use a rhyming text, which is not overly common in non-fiction, but works very well here. The books provide inspiring information through easily flowing text which makes them great for reading aloud. There is plenty of additional biographical information in the back of the book, plus a note and picture from the featured scientist! I had never heard of Raye Montague until reading this book and I really enjoyed getting to know her inspiring history. Her life is a great example of perseverance and finding new solutions when things don’t go as you want. She faced a lot of discrimination and mistreatment, but she found ways to keep her head up and take whatever opportunities she could. There are a lot of similarities to this story and the one told in Hidden Figures and Raye Montague was even honored as the the US Navy’s first ‘hidden figure.’ I hope there will be more books to come in this series! Check out my thoughts on the rest of the books in the series on my blog post: http://becausemymotherread.siterubix....

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    First, Raye Montague is awesome & an incredibly inspiring woman. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t do her justice. It is written in very clunky rhyme. I often enjoy rhyme, but the rhyme in this book was just bad and distracted me from the story. For example: “Say WHAAATT?!! You heard right. No invite?! ABHORRIBLE! In fact, some might say it was downright DEPLORABLE.” Ouch. They’re not all that bad, but much of the rhyming feels forced & unnatural. The illustrations are fine, but I also found all First, Raye Montague is awesome & an incredibly inspiring woman. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t do her justice. It is written in very clunky rhyme. I often enjoy rhyme, but the rhyme in this book was just bad and distracted me from the story. For example: “Say WHAAATT?!! You heard right. No invite?! ABHORRIBLE! In fact, some might say it was downright DEPLORABLE.” Ouch. They’re not all that bad, but much of the rhyming feels forced & unnatural. The illustrations are fine, but I also found all of the little cheek blush markings on all of the people odd too. Even the title is a bit off because the book only mentions math specifically a couple times and focuses more on Raye’s dream of becoming an engineer & working on ships. Her mathematical skills are not one of the book’s main focuses. The execution of the book gets a 2, but Raye Montague herself gets a 5.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    Tells the story of Raye Montague, starting from her family encouraging her to pursue engineering as a child and moving forward to Montague becoming program manager for ship design. The book talks about the racism and sexism she faced. I thought it did a particularly good job handling her boss, who was both very prejudiced against her in general and sometimes gave her key support and opportunities. Pretty extensive back matter, including an interview with Montague and a more in-depth biography. Th Tells the story of Raye Montague, starting from her family encouraging her to pursue engineering as a child and moving forward to Montague becoming program manager for ship design. The book talks about the racism and sexism she faced. I thought it did a particularly good job handling her boss, who was both very prejudiced against her in general and sometimes gave her key support and opportunities. Pretty extensive back matter, including an interview with Montague and a more in-depth biography. The timeline does not properly represent relative gaps in time. I didn't love that this was written in rhyme; I thought it made the text more awkward. Some of the language also comes off as aimed at younger kids than I would have otherwise guessed. But there aren't any bad rhythm spots, so it does read out loud well.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lauren- The Smile Lines

    Thanks to innovationpress for sharing a review copy of this book with the #kidlitexchange! . The Girl With a Mind For Math: The Story of Raye Montague by #juliafinleymosca releasing 9/4/18. . What an inspiring story! Raye Montague is definitely someone who teaches all to never give up! This mathematician persisted beyond all obstacles to make her dreams come true. The last page has such a powerful message! Swipe to see! . This book is written in rhyme with detailed illustrations. After learning about Thanks to innovationpress for sharing a review copy of this book with the #kidlitexchange! . The Girl With a Mind For Math: The Story of Raye Montague by #juliafinleymosca releasing 9/4/18. . What an inspiring story! Raye Montague is definitely someone who teaches all to never give up! This mathematician persisted beyond all obstacles to make her dreams come true. The last page has such a powerful message! Swipe to see! . This book is written in rhyme with detailed illustrations. After learning about this woman’s struggles and achievements, there are so many extra details in the book. A personal letter from Raye, a timeline, added information about her life, photographs, and sites to follow up with are included. . I look forward to reading other books in this series!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    I received a digital review copy through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. A nice, rhyming biography of gifted mathematician Raye Montague, her accomplishments in engineering, and the struggles she endured to get there. At time the rhyming seemed overly silly, but it worked overall by telling Raye's story in a playful way. The supplemental materials at the end of the book is great for additional information about Raye, and includes: "Facts and Tidbits from the Author's Chat with Raye", I received a digital review copy through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. A nice, rhyming biography of gifted mathematician Raye Montague, her accomplishments in engineering, and the struggles she endured to get there. At time the rhyming seemed overly silly, but it worked overall by telling Raye's story in a playful way. The supplemental materials at the end of the book is great for additional information about Raye, and includes: "Facts and Tidbits from the Author's Chat with Raye", a timeline, a very in-depth bio, and bibliography.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    Thanks to the Kid Lit Exchange network for the review copy. All opinions are my own. I am so impressed by the books published by @theinnovationpress. This small publisher consistently puts out high quality books! THE GIRL WITH A MIND FOR MATH is another incredible biography by Julia Finley Mosca told in rhyme. Not easy! It's the story of mathematician Raye Montague. Illustrations by Daniel Rieley (@daniel_rieley) are sweet and engaging. And, oh the back matter! If you still want to know more afte Thanks to the Kid Lit Exchange network for the review copy. All opinions are my own. I am so impressed by the books published by @theinnovationpress. This small publisher consistently puts out high quality books! THE GIRL WITH A MIND FOR MATH is another incredible biography by Julia Finley Mosca told in rhyme. Not easy! It's the story of mathematician Raye Montague. Illustrations by Daniel Rieley (@daniel_rieley) are sweet and engaging. And, oh the back matter! If you still want to know more after you read the verse, you can dig in to pages of biographical information.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amie Wisz

    I received an e-arc from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. Being a teacher, I am always looking for books that empower my students. We encourage having a Growth Mindset and the story of Ray Montague is a fabulous example of how if you put your mind to something you can achieve it. It may take you on a road that is less direct than you want, but you can find a way! What a fabulous story of a girl who never gave up on what she loved and paved the way for women today! This will definitely I received an e-arc from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. Being a teacher, I am always looking for books that empower my students. We encourage having a Growth Mindset and the story of Ray Montague is a fabulous example of how if you put your mind to something you can achieve it. It may take you on a road that is less direct than you want, but you can find a way! What a fabulous story of a girl who never gave up on what she loved and paved the way for women today! This will definitely be a book I will be adding to my classroom library when it comes out! 4.5 stars!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Schultz

    The story of Raye Montague told in picture book form. I learn so much from children's picture books. This is a story of the first black woman engineer working for the Navy. She is amazing. Never one to complain about the mistreatment she faces at the hands of mostly white men, she kept quietly, but determinedly worked her way up. There is way more to her story, and I love the bibliography at the end of the book. Lots of good reading to be done there.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jo Oehrlein

    A Hidden Figure from the US Navy, Raye Montague started with 3 strikes against her: she was a girl, she was black, and she went to bad segregated schools. From that, she rose to designing a ship by computer in an impossibly short amount of time and eventually became a registered Professional Engineer in both the US and Canada. The text rhymes, which makes it an interesting read aloud, but perhaps makes it seem/sound younger than the concepts included.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jj

    This was a wonderful book, but would have been improved substantially if the text wasn't rhyming, thus giving the impression that this is a book for little kids only. I think this could be a great discussion-starter for OLDER kids, but they are going to be put off by the rhymes... and possibly also the adorable but very cartoony illustrations. I would love to read more books in this series, and will look for them going forward.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kris Dersch

    Like the Temple Grandin book, the back matter is amazing but the story itself is really trite and condescending except this time the rhymes are worse. I didn't know the story of Raye Montague, she's amazing, and the tidbits from the author's interview with her in the back matter are so great...but the story itself as told in rhyme is surface level to the point of almost being bland. Disappointing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Miss Sarah

    An incredible picture book biography of engineer Raye Montague who grew up in Arkansas and lived during a time of segregation. She continually pushed and endured to become a civilian engineer with the US Navy and be the first person to design a submarine via computer in record time. An incredible life. The book is told in in short bursts that are easy to follow and make the story move. Elementary and up

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Excellent biographical picture book that is appealing, informative and inspiring! Fun rhyming text, and charming illustrations introduce a truly remarkable woman to kids. The back matter is outstanding! The author interviewed Raye Montague and parts of that interview are included along with an illustrated timeline, extensive bibliography and additional biographical information.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    Biography of Raye Montague for elementary level readers. Told as a poem. Talks about the adversity she overcame to become an engineer who built submarines. Timeline, biographical info and excerpts from the author's interview with Montague at the end.

  17. 5 out of 5

    BiblioBickie

    Told in rhyming verse. Handles racist and misogynist episodes as part of the story but without lingering. While Montague had "mind for math" she applied it to engineering, finally earning the title, "Engineer."

  18. 5 out of 5

    ReadingWench

    This book is amazing. I saw it in the library and thought I would read it. The illustrations are fantastic. I love the way it is written. It is rhyming and simple. I can read this to any of my storytimes. I will buying this for my school library. Awesome!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Give to fans of "Hidden Figures", as math-minded women of color facing down discrimination with class and smarts weren't solely at NASA, but the Navy too.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julie Esanu

    A great book to learn about Raye Montague with phenomenal back matter. Unfortunately the rhyming text diminishes the impact of the inspirational story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    The story of an amazing woman.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Love the verse!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    A story well told about a woman who was brilliant in the field of math, and overcame obstacles (being black and being a woman in a field dominated by men) to prove herself. She perservered.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Tully

    Well researched, masterfully written, and beautifully illustrated - a well deserved tribute to an amazing woman.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Another "hidden figure" in the STEM world revealed

  26. 5 out of 5

    paula

    Inspiring mathematician deserves better rhymes.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    This is an absolutely great biography but to tell the truth it is a bit boring.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tali Bitton

    loved it!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Sawyer

    This is a great book to teach students grit, rhyming, and how powerful endurance can be. I loved this book and my heart was touched. I'm happy to add this to my collection.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a really inspiring story about a woman who overcame so many obstacles to pursue her dream and passion. It was fascinating!

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