Alan Turing and the Power of Curiosity (My Super Science Heroes) by Karla Valenti, with Micaela Crespo Quesada, PhD, illustrated by Annalisa Beghelli


Alan Turing and the Power of Curiosity (My Super Science Heroes) by Karla Valenti, with Micaela Crespo Quesada, PhD, illustrated by Annalisa Beghelli. Sourcebooks Explore, 2021. 9781728220437

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 2

What did you like about the book? A monster, Super Evil Nemesis, asks one of his minions, Ms. Enigma, to foil any attempts of the new baby Alan Turing to become a super science hero, when he is born in 1912. The monsters cannot stop Turing from teaching himself physics, math, and cryptology. During World War II, he sets out to crack the Nazis’ secret code which used Enigma machines. He goes on to publish groundbreaking work on algorithms, cryptology, artificial intelligence and morphogenesis. Ms. Enigma ends up respecting Turing, which defeats Nemesis’s plan to spread ignorance in the world.

Digital art in bright colors animates the simple explanations of science. Back matter gives more information on various codes used throughout history, a brief glossary, a timeline, a search and find test, and internet resources.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The juxtaposition of evil monsters with factual biographical and scientific information does not work here – it muddles the facts and distracts from the narrative. A child interested in Turing will most likely be offended by the childish monsters and Turing’s interactions with them. I did not understand the Imitation Game any better after reading this book.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is geared towards 4-8 year olds.

Who should buy this book? I do not recommend this book for purchase.

Where would you shelve it ? I would not buy it for my library’s biography section.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: April 4, 2021

This entry was posted in *Book Review, *Picture Book, Annalisa Beghelli, Biography, Karla Valenti, Math, Micaela Crespo Quesada, Physics, Science and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.